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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 10: A detailed view of the helmets of New England Patriots prior to the game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on October 10, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

We already know 16 of the Patriots’ opponents in the 2021 season. But what about that 17th game, which is not yet official but very likely to happen?

A new nugget from Peter King at Pro Football Talk revealed that the Patriots are likely to play the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, the inaugural year with a 17th regular season game. How did the league determine that matchup? For every team, it’s based on two factors: the division you played from the opposite conference in 2019, and that same division’s final standings in 2020.

The Patriots played the NFC East in 2019, and the Pats & Cowboys both finished third in 2020. So we’ve got Patriots-Cowboys. Just do you don’t have to look it up: the rest of the AFC East-NFC East matchups would be Bills-Washington, Dolphins-Giants, and Jets-Eagles.

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It remains to be seen how notable of a matchup that Patriots-Cowboys will be. Neither team is settled on its starting quarterback for 2021. Dak Prescott remains on track to become an unrestricted free agent, while the Patriots’ own QB situation is totally up in the air. But the TV ratings will almost certainly be huge, either way.

Keep checking back at 985TheSportsHub.com for continuing coverage of the Patriots’ 2021 offseason.

MORE: Patriots’ 2021 Opponents

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.