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IRVING, Texas -This is going to come up, not sure when, but definitely will be an issue for the Dallas Cowboys at some point.

Talkin' about their schedule.

No, not the 2012 NFL schedule in total. We've been all over that for months now. It's a toughie, playing just three home games the first 10 weeks of the season, the fourth not arriving at Cowboys Stadium until the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Man.

And you know, not so much the start to training camp, which has the Cowboys beginning three days later than the New York Giants, their season-opening opponent, just because the Giants first preseason game is on a Friday and the Cowboys is on the following Monday. Teams are allowed to open camps no sooner than 15 days prior to their first preseason game. We have umpteen rules you know these days with the new CBA.

This has more to do with once the Cowboys break training camp in Oxnard, Calif., encompassing their final two preseason games, preparation for the Sept. 5 season opener against those defending Super Bowl champion Giants at MetLife Stadium in their first-ever Wednesday night game in 53 seasons and roster decisions that must be made in the interim.

We are going to work a little backwards so you totally understand the strange predicament the Cowboys – and somewhat the Giants, too – are in preparing for a Wednesday night season opener, this one being nationally televised by NBC.

Normally, if the Cowboys were preparing for a Sunday game, the first full practice would be held on Wednesday, with the possibility of a short workout on Monday and the mandatory off day on Tuesday. Well, since this is a Wednesday game, Saturday, Sept. 1 becomes the equivalent of Wednesday for them.

So the plan for the Cowboys will be to practice Saturday, Sunday and Monday, hold a walk-through on Tuesday and then climb aboard their charter flight to Newark later that day since they are required to arrive at least 24 hours prior to the 8:20 p.m. (ET) kickoff time.

To accommodate this strange, mid-week kickoff to the season that normally would occur on a Thursday – the NFL didn't want to bump heads with President Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6 – the Cowboys and Giants final preseason games will be played the previous Wednesday night, Aug. 29.

Fair enough, right, since Thursday will be like a Monday – short and sweet, with postgame lift and run – and Friday will serve as the normal Tuesday day off.

Ah, but here is where things start getting sticky for the Cowboys – and Giants. Plus, remember the rest of the league will play their final preseason games on Thursday night, thus giving them nine full days to prepare for their openers, and 10 to the Cowboys and Giants final preseason opponents.

That's just the start of this inequity. Rosters must be trimmed to their maximum of 53 by 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. OK fine, everyone is in the same boat there. But remember, the Cowboys must begin practice for the Giants game on Saturday.

Well, teams are allowed an eight-man practice squad, which can't be put together earlier than 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1. Guys released must clear waivers before being eligible to be signed to the practice squad. But by 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday, the Cowboys and Giants will be halfway through their first day of game preparation.

Also, if the Cowboys had any desire to claim veterans off the waiver wire in time to participate that first week of the season, well, those claims won't be awarded under the current rules until 11 a.m. Saturday, too.

What are the Cowboys and Giants to do? Start preparation with no practice squad? Don't bother putting in waiver claims on veterans? Or maybe move the practices to late afternoon or evening, so at least a practice squad can be signed in time for that first practice of game week? Can't imagine any guys awarded on waiver claims can arrive at The Ranch in time for even a Saturday evening practice. Probably Sunday at the earliest.

Start practice late, say 8 p.m.? OK, but then the Cowboys would have to find a place with lights to practice, because, uh, Cowboys Stadium will be preoccupied with that Alabama-Michigan game.

Come on NFL, where's the love?

OK, know what you're thinking, and I momentarily thought the same thing, too. Well, just blow off the final preseason game against Miami, as is the norm anyway, and start practicing for the Giants earlier in the week. Good thought, but ...

Remember, that final preseason game is on a Wednesday night, meaning Tuesday is no more than a walk-through practice.

So you say then start practicing for the Giants game Sunday and Monday of that final week of preseason.

Whoa there, the Cowboys third preseason game is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, against St. Louis at Cowboys Stadium. Under the new CBA rules, the team then must have either Sunday or Monday off, leaving only one full day to practice and have a walk-through before that preseason game.

So how about starting the preparation for the Giants the previous week? Not a bad idea, except one thing: Following Game 2 of the preseason, Aug. 18 at San Diego, the Cowboys are scheduled to remain there to practice against the Chargers after the mandatory Sunday day off on Monday and Tuesday, then after a visit to the Navy Seals Wednesday morning, fly home that afternoon. So they could again blow off preseason preparation for the third preseason game, Aug. 25 at Cowboys Stadium against the Dolphins, and devote Thursday's lone practice toward the Giants, but again, Friday is a walk-through day, which I suppose can be somewhat devoted to film work for the Giants.

Then they play on Saturday.

You with me on all this? We're talking, hey Cowboys and Giants, just hurry up and get ready.

Pretty taxing, right? And I didn't even bring up the coaching staff trying to come up with a game plan for the Giants, all the while trying to install an offense, defense and special teams foundation normally done during training camp, along with weeding the roster down to 75 by Aug. 27 and 53 by Aug. 31, along with deciding on a practice squad. Start on the Giants too soon, and some of those weeded out just might find their way to East Rutherford, N.J., and you would hope without their new playbook iPads.

Needless to say, those first three and a half weeks of training camp, from the July 24 reporting date for rookies, quarterbacks and selected rehabbing injured players at The Ranch to the July 30 start to the first full-team practice at the River Ridge Sports Complex through the Friday, Aug. 17 departure for San Diego, will be a highly-important, fast-paced, chock-full 25 days.

Not to mention trying to make up for starting three days behind the Giants through no fault of their own since the NFL decided to give ESPN a Cowboys-Raiders Monday night preseason game that first weekend of exhibition games.

The Cowboys have been appealing to the common senses of the NFL's higher authority on both of these matters, the delayed start to camp and the hurry-up prep for the opener, although owner Jerry Jones said he is quite "dubious" anything would be amended for the start of camp.

Now you know what the appealing Saints players feel like, don't you. Those appeals are being ruminated over by the very same people who decided when these two games would be played in the first place and just who would play in them, and somehow, strange as it might seem, the Cowboys got the short stick on both.

No computer made those scheduling decisions. Even my hp is smarter than that.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it, if someone up on Park Avenue is going like, oops, so sorry guys, or is sitting back, feet propped up on the desk chuckling.

I swear, most times it does, but sometimes it just doesn't pay to be America's Team.

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Wah wah whining, poor wittle Womo and the cowgirls got screwed. You sound like a 4 year old who didn't get their blankie before bed...grow a pair EN jeez...

If it were the Falcons (or Redskins) you know youd be singing a different tune.

Sometimes its the more mature thing to recognize that someone is being screwed rather than sit back and laugh because its not you.

Edited by Rave
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no different than the overseas game where a team loses a homefield game for the season.

Ok, but how does that compare to us not being able to prepare for our first regular season game on time because we wont have a practice squad or having to start training camp 3 days after everyone else (other than the Raiders)? This new CBA had to screw someone and the NFL knew just who to pick. They could have easily scheduled the Giants/Cowboys before or after Obama's speech (personally I wouldnt have given a **** if they scheduled it at the same time) but I guess no one in the NFL FO is that smart. Who gives two ***** about a speech that doesnt matter anyway? Let me sum it up for you "Thank you for allowing me to represent the Democratic-Nazi party by default because I have the right to run for a second term" there, speech over, lets play some football.

Edited by Rave
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Ok, but how does that compare to us not being able to prepare for our first regular season game on time because we wont have a practice squad or having to start training camp 3 days after everyone else (other than the Raiders)? This new CBA had to screw someone and the NFL knew just who to pick. They could have easily scheduled the Giants/Cowboys before or after Obama's speech (personally I wouldnt have given a **** if they scheduled it at the same time) but I guess no one in the NFL FO is that smart. Who gives two ***** about a speech that doesnt matter anyway? Let me sum it up for you "Thank you for allowing me to represent the Democratic-Nazi party by default because I have the right to run for a second term" there, speech over, lets play some football.

you don't run a billion dollar corporation by pissing off nearly half your potential customers (Democrats)

yes it sucks and they should have done something to make it better, but interfering with a presidential renomination speech is not it especially when you are a billion dollar corporation that gets an exception for being a monopoly

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you don't run a billion dollar corporation by pissing off nearly half your potential customers (Democrats)

yes it sucks and they should have done something to make it better, but interfering with a presidential renomination speech is not it especially when you are a billion dollar corporation that gets an exception for being a monopoly

If I still believed that the president wasnt appointed and that voting counted Id be more likely to agree with you. Since that is not the case, then all these meaningless speeches are just messing things up for no reason. The last real president that we had in this country was JFK. When he stood up to the men behind the curtain he was taken out. I lost faith a long time ago in the democratic process of this country.

Sorry, not trying to make this about politics, but without explaining my view its hard to explain my stance on the whole thing.

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If I still believed that the president wasnt appointed and that voting counted Id be more likely to agree with you. Since that is not the case, then all these meaningless speeches are just messing things up for no reason. The last real president that we had in this country was JFK. When he stood up to the men behind the curtain he was taken out. I lost faith a long time ago in the democratic process of this country.

Sorry, not trying to make this about politics, but without explaining my view its hard to explain my stance on the whole thing.

my post wasn't about politics. per se....it was about a business not pissing off the people who can make life difficult for them

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my post wasn't about politics. per se....it was about a business not pissing off the people who can make life difficult for them

I wasnt saying you were, I was explaining my own post with the hopes that it wouldnt spring a political debate.

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I remember posting articles before the start of the 2009 season about a 6 week span where Atlanta was playing 4 teams coming off their bye weeks(which was BS, BTW).

It was met with the same response WRF gave by pretty much every non-Falcons fan in RC. Which was of course to 'quit whining'.

RCDS!!

Edited by dirtydealin5858
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I remember posting articles before the start of the 2009 season about a 6 week span where Atlanta was playing 4 teams coming off their bye weeks(which was BS, BTW).

It was met with the same response WRF gave by pretty much every non-Falcons fan in RC. Which was of course to 'quit whining'.

RCDS!!

Three home games in the first 10 games is ridiculous. At least the Falcons go away, home, away, home away, home...etc...our first 10 games are away, away, home, home, bye, away, away, home, away, away, home...

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Three home games in the first 10 games is ridiculous. At least the Falcons go away, home, away, home away, home...etc...our first 10 games are away, away, home, home, bye, away, away, home, away, away, home...

I count 4 home games out of your first 10. While it seems rough, Atlanta has had schedules like that in the past where it benefited us because we had 3 home games during December, keeping us out of bad weather.

I do understand Cowboys fans feeling slighted by the schedule makers though.

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I count 4 home games out of your first 10. While it seems rough, Atlanta has had schedules like that in the past where it benefited us because we had 3 home games during December, keeping us out of bad weather.

I do understand Cowboys fans feeling slighted by the schedule makers though.

My bad, maybe it was 10 weeks not 10 games, either way...

Yeah, November is @Atlanta, @Philly, Cleveland, Washington, but December is Philly, @Cincy, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and @Washington.

So if we are making a playoff push well be in great shape. By week 8 well know whether or not this team can hack it on the road.

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Ferking with football is just another reason to dislike the man...Pompous arse dooshy...

even if it IS the Cowboys...

Thanks FC...honestly I think the Falcons got shafted with no back to back home games. Thats gotta suck.

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Thanks FC...honestly I think the Falcons got shafted with no back to back home games. Thats gotta suck.

Ya know, it's better than some years where we've had...

5... count 'em... FIVE teams coming off their Bye week.

To be honest, I think this home and away schedule might be a blessing in disguise... really allows for a routine, doesn't it!?

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Ya know, it's better than some years where we've had...

5... count 'em... FIVE teams coming off their Bye week.

To be honest, I think this home and away schedule might be a blessing in disguise... really allows for a routine, doesn't it!?

i don't think so. luckily, our tougher games may be in Atlanta, but the constant traveling could wear on our old fellars. also, we don't have that sure win in Carolina this year lol.

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i don't think so. luckily, our tougher games may be in Atlanta, but the constant traveling could wear on our old fellars. also, we don't have that sure win in Carolina this year lol.

That's funny... I see 16 sure wins on the schedule, and carolina accounts for 1/8 of them...

smile.png

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