The Washington Commanders finally know the full details of the 2022 schedule, and their fans are already circling what they think will be marquee matchups.
Some of the Commanders' players are doing the same, and that includes fourth-year linebacker Cole Holcomb. There are several interesting opponents for the Commanders this year, but for Holcomb, one team will always be at the top, and that's the Dallas Cowboys.
"I originally thought I was going to Dallas," Holcomb told Julie Donaldson.
Holcomb, who was a three-year starter for North Carolina after being a walk-on from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, was projected to go in Rounds 5 or 6 of the 2019 NFL Draft by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. He was expecting that the Cowboys, who had six picks in Day 3 that offseason, was going to use one of those selections on him.
However, both the Cowboys' fifth-round picks came and went -- they ended up taking Miami's Michael Jackson and Joe Jackson with the No. 158 and No. 165 overall -- giving Washington the chance to grab Holcomb with their own fifth-round pick.
"I was a little mad that day," Holcomb said. "But then I was obviously really excited once I got the call from Washington."
In preparation for the Washington Commanders' 2022 season, here's a look at what the quarterbacks for each opponent, in no particular order, did during the 2021 season.
As a result, Holcomb has always had a little extra motivation playing against the Cowboys, and he normally has good games against them. Back in 2020, he recorded his first career interception against Dallas in Week 7 as part of a performance that also included five tackles, two quarterback hits, a pass breakup and a sack.
And in last year's home game against the Cowboys, he grabbed another interception, this time taking it all the way back for a touchdown that put Washington within a touchdown of tying the game.
"I mean it's a critical point in the game," Holcomb said after the game. "We needed something. We needed a turnover, we needed points, we needed anything. I feel like it was a huge momentum swing. I was glad to be the person who did it."
This year, the Commanders will be facing the Cowboys in Weeks 4 and 18 with the final matchup will be at home to wrap up the season. What's more, the NFC East is always competitive, especially in the final stretch.
So, assuming the Commanders and Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt -- they're tied for the easiest strength of schedule in the league -- there could be even more reason for Holcomb to ball out.
"It is a little personal," Holcomb said. "They were telling me, 'We're gonna take you, we're gonna take you,' and then it never happened. I got the call from Washington and I was like, 'It's time to make them pay.'"