Cowboys Finalize Dates, Times for Jam-Packed 2020 Preseason Docket

Dallas Cowboys offensive huddle

Getty Dallas Cowboys offensive huddle

The Dallas Cowboys‘ summer schedule is now set in stone.

The Cowboys on Saturday announced dates and times for their five-game preseason docket, which begins with the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Canton, Ohio. This matchup is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. ET.

From there, Dallas will travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers at the brand-new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, site of the Cowboys’ regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. This matchup is slated for Saturday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. ET.

In preseason Week 3, the Cowboys will make their 2020 home debut by welcoming the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to JerryWorld. This tilt will take place on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. ET.

They’ll stay put the following week to host Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, in what will represent the Cowboys’ regular-season dress rehearsal. This is typically when starters play an extended period — the entire first half and likely into the third quarter — before exiting in favor of the second- and third-stringers.

Cowboys vs. Ravens kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. ET.

Finally, to close the preseason, Dallas will hit the road to meet the Texans in Houston on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. ET. This, a sharp contrast from the previous contest, is lovingly referred to as the Backup Bowl, where first-stringers idle away on the sidelines, never sniffing the field.

Below is the Cowboys’ finalized exhibition schedule:

Hall of Game Game: Cowboys vs. Steelers; Thursday, Aug. 6, 8 p.m. ET

Week 2: Cowboys at Chargers; Saturday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. ET

Week 3: Cowboys vs. Chiefs; Saturday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. ET.

Week 4: Cowboys vs. Ravens; Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. ET

Week 5: Cowboys at Texans; Thursday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. ET

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Cowboys HC McCarthy Reacts to 2020 Schedule

It likely dawned on Mike McCarthy — again — that he was the head coach of the Cowboys upon glancing over the 2020 schedule, linchpinned by six nationally-televised games.

He’s not in Wisconsin anymore. This is America’s Team, and America’s Team gets the eyeballs. But McCarthy’s eyeballs weren’t glazing at the sight of continual primetime action. Instead, he merely focused on, and was delighted by, the fortuitous setup of the regular-season docket.

“I really like the way the schedule lays out,” McCarthy said Thursday evening on NFL Network, per The Athletic. “It’s kind of nice not to have a division game until we can get started and find out where we are as a football team.”

With the coronavirus pandemic in mind, allowing for abrupt flexibility if need be, the NFL purposely crafted non-divisional and interconference matchups to open the season. The Cowboys won’t face an NFC East foe until Week 5, when the New York Giants come to town.

Dallas will begin its campaign against the Los Angeles Rams, preceding contests against the Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, and Cleveland Browns — Sunday Night Football and two late-afternoon kickoffs for the boys in blue. All by design.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL