Through 9 games of the 2021 season, the Dallas Cowboys have cemented themselves among the best in the NFC. Let alone the entire league.

They feature the NFL’s top offense and a defense that is performing well above expectations. Despite an ugly loss at home versus the Denver Broncos, the Cowboys are playing arguably the best football so far this season. Proving it once more against the red-hot Atlanta Falcons.

Throughout the season, the Cowboys have their share of wins against quality teams, as well as lagging one’s. As the season goes along, some of those wins are looking even better, like the New England Patriots.

Up to now, they have played 4 teams who would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, and only 3 with a losing record. The next 3 games will be their most difficult stretch this season, going up against playoff caliber opponents:

  1. @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
  2. Las Vegas Raiders (5-4)
  3. @ New Orleans Saints (5-4)

According to Power Rankings Guru, the Dallas Cowboys have the 16th most difficult remaining schedule. Smack dab in the middle, with half of their opponents above .500, and the other half against divisional opponents.

Regardless of how these next 3 opponents are viewed in the scope of the league, it will be the toughest 11 days of the season. Not only do to quality of opponent, but the time span of the schedule.

  • The Chiefs have played with one of the leagues worst defenses, and an elite quarterback who’s been turnover-prone. However, they’re on a 2-game win streak, and 1st in the AFC West, which is still a revolving door this season.
  • Derek Carr and the Raiders deserve credit. To be in the playoff hunt despite all that has been affecting this team off the field is worth commending. Carr is playing his best ball of his career, and they seem to have found their War Daddy in players like Maxx Crosby and Nate Hobbs.
  • The Saints offense keeps taking blows. Losing Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas for the season have been huge. They’re resiliency is as attached to their name as ever. Trevor Siemian is showing accuracy, despite not as much flare, and Alvin Kamara is still among the best RBs in the game. Tie that with 1 of the best best offensive lines and defenses in football, and the Sainst are still a threat.

Even though the Dallas Cowboys should be the favorite in these games, they’re a litmus test. How will they do against playoff teams this late in the year? Can they continue their elite play? Will the 3 games in 11 days affect this team negatively.

It’s never easy for the Cowboys to play their 3-game cycle that they do. The good news is that most of them are used to it, and with reinforcements around the corner.

Now that the eyes of the NFL are on the Cowboys, they need to show up. These games are not just for doubters, but for themselves as well.