Posted by Coleman Swierc
Dallas, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys will open and close the season on the road against NFC East rivals.
The Cowboys will face Washington's new power combination of coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Donovan McNabb in the season opener. The Cowboys will finish at Philadelphia, marking the third consecutive season in which they have played their final game against the Eagles.
The final game against an NFC East team is part of commissioner Roger Goodell's handiwork. In an attempt to increase the number of meaningful games in the final week of the regular season, all teams will close with a division games.
Cowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones said he favors the concept. The final week has been increasingly marked by meaningless games, with most playoff participants already determined. Having all division games could create more uncertainty in the final week.
``What we run into is to make sure the best team is on the field at the end,'' Jones said. ``That's the most logical way to do it I know of. And I think that's great for the fans.''
The Cowboys will play five prime-time games, including a Christmas night date at Arizona. They will meet Super Bowl champion New Orleans in the traditional Thanksgiving game and play at defending AFC champion Indianapolis after the holiday break.
Sun., Sept. 12 @ Washington (NBC) 7:20 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 19CHICAGO (FOX) Noon
Sun., Sept. 26 @ Houston (FOX) Noon
Sun., Oct. 3 BYE
Sun., Oct. 10 TENNESSEE (CBS) 3:15 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 17@ Minnesota (FOX) 3:15 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 25 N.Y. GIANTS (ESPN) 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 31 JACKSONVILLE (CBS) Noon
Sun., Nov. 7@ Green Bay (NBC) 7:20 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 14 @ N.Y. Giants (FOX) 3:15 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 21 DETROIT (FOX) Noon
Thurs., Nov. 25 NEW ORLEANS (FOX) 3:15 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 5 @ Indianapolis (Fox) 3:15 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 12 PHILADELPHIA (NBC) 7:20 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 19 WASHINGTON (FOX) Noon
Sat., Dec. 25 @ Arizona (NFLN) 7:30 p.m.