America’s Team is a regular on primetime during the NFL season. How many primetime contests will the Cowboys get scheduled for in 2023?
There are few guarantees in life but having the Dallas Cowboys in primetime during the NFL season is one of them. America’s Team became one of the country’s most popular football teams shortly after the NFL merger and routinely draws excellent TV ratings whenever they are spotlighted during the season.
Whenever the Cowboys are a true Super Bowl contender, and sometimes when they are merely one of the best teams in the NFC East, they get a ton of national exposure in marquee time slots. How often should Dallas be in the primetime spotlight in 2023?
Predictions for the Cowboys’ primetime games
The NFL has a rule in place that teams can be scheduled for a maximum of five primetime games at the start of the season to try and ensure that most of the league’s teams can get showcased nationally. Dallas is almost always scheduled for five primetime appearances, a tally that doesn’t include the Cowboys’ annual Thanksgiving showcase or games set for the 425 doubleheader slot.
With most of the star quarterbacks playing in the AFC, Dallas is one of the few dynamic drawing cards in the NFC alongside San Francisco and Philadelphia. The question isn’t how many primetime games Dallas will get, but which opponents will be featured.
The Cowboys are slated to square off with the AFC East and NFC West divisions outside of their traditional NFC East foes. Placement games based on the 2022 standings see Detroit head to Dallas while the Cowboys hit the road to take on the Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers.
All of Dallas’ NFC East games could be in play for primetime, especially coming off a year where three of the four NFC East foes were in the Divisional Round and the Washington Commanders just missed the postseason. A playoff rematch against the 49ers should be highly coveted while AFC East matchups against Buffalo, Miami and the Aaron Rodgers-led Jets should draw a ton of eyeballs.
While the exact opponents may change, there are a few general rules you can safely assume with the Cowboys. Three of their five primetime appearances will be on NBC’s Sunday Night Football package, including at least one of the NFC East games, and Dallas will end up on Thursday night either the week after Thanksgiving or later in the season.
Cowboys Primetime Games: 5 (Vs. New York Jets, At San Francisco 49ers, Vs. Philadelphia Eagles, At New York Giants, Vs. Detroit Lions)