As it turns out, America’s Team prefer not to excessively travel the country for which they are named.
When fans and media get their eyes on the schedule, they immediately look for certain specific things. During a Friday visit to the #PFTPM podcast, Cowboys COO, executive V.P., and director of player personnel Stephen Jones addressed the question of what he looks for when he gets the schedule.
“I think the biggest thing I look for is just are we on the road more than two times [in a row]?” Jones said. “That’s always tough if you’ve got to go on a three-game road trip.”
Jones added that he then looks for the games played before and after the team’s consecutive Thursday games in late November/early December, and the games before and after the bye week.
“Then of course you’re looking at your night games,” Jones said. “Are those on the road or are they at home? Those are some of the things. Obviously you look at your division. That’s huge in terms of when you play them, what time of year, those type of things.”
This year, Jones saw that there are no three-game road trips. Instead, the Cowboys twice play a pair of consecutive games away from home: Week Seven and Eight at Washington and Philadelphia, and Week 13 and 14 at Baltimore and Cincinnati.
The Cowboys also have a late-afternoon game at Minnesota before the Thanksgiving Day game against Washington, and after traveling to Baltimore the following Thursday, the Cowboys go to Cincinnati. While not a three-game road trip, it’s a total of three road games wrapped around the Thanksgiving Day game.
The Cowboys also have their bye before the game at Minnesota, and they host the Steelers before the Week 10 break.
Given the pair of road games that come just before the Cowboys host the Steelers, Dallas has just two home games from October 20 through December 20.
The night games are at the Rams, at home against the Cardinals, at the Eagles, at the Ravens, and at home against the 49ers, giving them three of five prime-time games on the road, with of course the Thanksgiving Day game (which feels like a prime-time game) at home.