2022 NFL schedule release: Ranking Cowboys’ possible Thanksgiving opponents

The Dallas Cowboys have been playing football on Thanksgiving Day since 1966 with the exceptions of 1975 and 1977. However, they have found themselves on a three-year Thanksgiving losing skid, falling to the Las Vegas Raiders overtime last season, the Washington Football Team in 2020 and the Buffalo Bills in 2019. The Cowboys still won the NFC East in 2021 with a 12-5 record, and are expected to be a contender again in 2022.

With the official 2022 NFL schedule set to be released Thursday evening, who do you want to see the Cowboys play on Thursday, Nov. 24, this year? There are several intriguing opponents who are in the running. Would you like to see a matchup against a formidable opponent, or a team that Dallas can defeat to get back into the Thanksgiving win column? Below, we will break down our top five potential Thanksgiving opponents for the Cowboys in 2022.

This could be a fun matchup where the Cowboys would certainly be favored. The Bears went 6-11 last year and fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. Rookie signal-caller Justin Fields showed some good things in his first NFL season, but does he have enough around him to make a big jump in 2022? The Cowboys have won two out of the last three against the Bears, and played on Thanksgiving in 2004. In that matchup, Dallas scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win 21-7.

The Colts are another team that would likely be underdogs to the Cowboys. Carson Wentz failed to capitalize in a win-and-you’re-in postseason situation in a stadium full of clowns in the regular-season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars, so Chris Ballard and Co. ditched him and added Matt Ryan. Indy should be improved in 2022, but are the Colts legitimate contenders? The Cowboys last played the Colts in 2018, and were blanked, 23-0. However, Dallas leads the all-time series vs. Indy, 10-7.

3. Washington Commanders

This could be the first edition of the rebranded Dallas vs. Washington rivalry. The Cowboys swept the season series vs. the Commanders in 2021, but did get destroyed 41-16 two Thanksgivings ago. In that matchup, Andy Dalton threw for just 215 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Antonio Gibson ran wild for 115 yards and three touchdowns. Dallas has won three out of the last five vs. Washington, and leads the all-time series, 75-47-2.

The reigning AFC champions could be even better in 2022 – which is wild to think about. Star quarterback Joe Burrow spent a large part of the 2021 campaign on his backside due to a lackluster offensive line. Cincinnati wasted no time addressing this in the offseason, as it acquired a new right tackle, new right guard and new center. The Bengals also beefed up the defensive side of the ball, spending five of their six draft picks on defensemen. With Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst, could this potential Thanksgiving matchup be a fun shootout?

Revenge game! As you probably remember, the Cowboys opened the 2021 season in Tampa against the Buccaneers and lost 31-29. Dallas’ secondary really struggled, as Tom Brady threw for 379 yards, four touchdowns and two picks. Antonio Brown caught five passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, Chris Godwin caught nine passes for 105 yards and one touchdown and Rob Gronkowski caught eight passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. This game came down to the wire, as Ryan Succop knocked in a 36-yard game-winning field goal with two seconds left. This would be a great Thanksgiving matchup.

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