- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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Finally, after a delay and weeks of wondering, the NFL schedule will be released at 7 p.m. CT today.
Here's a primer for the Cowboys:
Who they play: The home games are against the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. The road games are against the NFC East and Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.
Reunion games: The Cowboys will face former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, now in New Orleans. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli takes on the Lions, whom he was the head coach for from 2006-08, at Ford Field and the Bears, where he was an assistant/defensive coordinator the last three seasons, at Soldier Field. Of course, Tony Romo faces his favorite team growing up, the Packers.
The strength of schedule: Cowboys' opponents had a .475 winning percentage last season. There are four teams on the schedule -- Washington, Green Bay, Minnesota and Denver -- who reached the postseason last year.
Who plays on Thanksgiving? The Cowboys have alternated NFC-AFC opponents on Thanksgiving Day, with the Redskins (NFC team) visiting Cowboys Stadium last season. Possible opponents this season could be Denver and Oakland. The Cowboys faced the Raiders on Thanksgiving in 2009, so the Broncos appear the favorite for 2013.
Late season schedule: The Cowboys posted a 3-2 mark in December last season and it still wasn't good enough to reach the postseason. The Cowboys were a combined 5-7 from 2009-11 in December. A late-season road game in New Orleans or Chicago could have playoff implications, if that's what the schedule reads.