NEW YORK, April 3 (UPI) -- The NFL released its complete 2003 schedule Thursday, and the highlights include three road games for new Dallas Coach Bill Parcells against his former teams.
Parcells, who had successful tenures with the New York Giants, New York Jets, and New England, was lured out of retirement by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The first road game for Parcells will be Sept. 15, when the Cowboys play the New York Giants in a Monday night affair. They will face the Jets in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sept. 28, and will travel to New England on Nov. 16 for a Sunday night game with the Patriots.
Another reunion involving the Cowboys will be Oct. 5 at Texas Stadium, when the Cowboys host Emmitt Smith and the Arizona Cardinals. Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, was released by the Cowboys this offseason.
The NFL released part of its 256-game schedule earlier this year. The opening game will be Thursday, Sept. 4, when the Jets visit the Washington Redskins in a game televised by ABC.
The first Monday night game has the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first regular-season game at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 8.
The AFC champion Oakland Raiders will open their season Sunday night, Sept. 7 at Tennessee.
The first full Sunday of the season is Sept. 7, and the regular season will conclude Sunday, Dec. 28. There is no Monday night game during the final week of the season in order to allow for flexibility in playoff scheduling.
Five coaches will make their debuts with their new teams on Sept. 7, led by Parcells, who debuts in a home game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Marvin Lewis debuts for the Cincinnati Bengals at home against Denver, while Steve Mariucci and the Detroit Lions face Arizona. The Jacksonville Jaguars and new coach Jack Del Rio open on the road against the Carolina Panthers, and Dennis Erickson of San Francisco opens at home against the Chicago Bears.
The traditional Thanksgiving Day games on Thursday, Nov. 27, feature the Green Bay Packers at Detroit, and Miami at Dallas.
Each of the 32 teams will have one bye week, and all of the byes will be between weeks 3 and 10.
The playoffs begin with wild card weekend on Jan. 3-4. The Super Bowl is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 1 in Houston.