BOSTON (CBS) — The Dallas Cowboys will be coming back to Foxboro in 2021.

That news became official on Tuesday, when owners voted to approve the 17-game schedule, beginning in the upcoming season.

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“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”

The formatting of the 17th game aligned inter-conference matchups, with teams facing opponents who finished in the same place in their division in the previous season. The Patriots and Cowboys will meet, as both teams finished third in their respective divisions, with the AFC East getting paired up with the NFC East for 2021.

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As for the home team, that will go by conference each year. In 2021, AFC teams will have nine home games and eight road games, while NFC teams will get that ninth home game in 2022.

Teams will still have just one bye week, while all teams will host 10 games total — either nine regular season games plus one preseason game, or eight regular season games and two preseason games. For the Patriots, this means they will host just one of their three preseason games.

The Cowboys last visited Gillette Stadium on a rain-soaked afternoon in 2019. The Patriots won that game, 13-9, giving New England its sixth straight win over Dallas, dating back to 1999. Prior to that, the Cowboys won their first seven games against the Patriots, in a span from 1971-96.

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The actual schedule for the 2021 season will be released at a later date this spring.

CBSBoston.com Staff