According to the NFL the Dallas Cowboys have the 18th most difficult schedule next season.  Considering their multiple needs and opponents that they face at the beginning and end of next season, they might as well have the most difficult schedule in the NFL. 

I hate to be so pessimistic, but being a realist has always been the only option as far as I'm concerned.  The Cowboys have been struggling defensively for quite some time now, but last season they were just plain horrible.  Despite their offseason acquisitions and potential draft picks, it doesn't appear that their defensive woes will be solved anytime in the near future.

Offensively the Cowboys have always been solid, however, there are multiple questions going into next season that Cowboys fans must have.  How will Tony Romo respond to his back surgery?  Will the Cowboys offensive line hold up?  Can DeMarco Murray stay healthy?  Who will be their third wide receiver behind Bryant and Williams, and does Witten have much gas left in the tank?

Let's not forget that this next season is clearly Jason Garret's last chance to make a splash in big D, so you know he will be walking on egg shells all season long.  The number one reason why I don't think the Cowboys will win more than 7 games is because of their brutal schedule.

Their season opener is against San Francisco at AT&T Stadium, a place that has hardly represented much of a home field advantage for the Cowboys.  Week 2 Dallas travels to Tennessee, then to St. Louis in week 3.  Week 4 the Cowboys host the Saints, then the Texans in week 5, and they travel to face Seattle in week 6.  It is quite possible that the Cowboys could start out 0-6 next season.

Their schedule gets a little easier after week 6 with several divisional games and Jacksonville across the pond in London.  The final four weeks of the Cowboys schedule is extremely challenging as they play at Chicago in early December again, then at Philly, followed by a visit by the Colts to AT&T Stadium, and they end the season at Washington.

Some people are arguing that the silver lining is that the Cowboys happen to play in the worst division in football and 8-8 could win the division.  I beg to differ though and just can't see the Cowboys winning more than 7 games next season.  Let's face it, their schedule would represent a challenge for any good team, and it is hard to classify the Cowboys in that category at the present moment.