Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
An NFL team wins a huge opener, beating its division rival in a close, exhilarating game on national television. At 1-0 and oozing confidence, the team goes on the road the following week against an opponent it feels like it will beat.
And … kerplunk. 1-1.
Sound familiar? It was the 2012 Cowboys. And if they’re not careful, it’ll also be the 2013 Cowboys.
Like they did last year, the Cowboys beat the New York Giants in their opener. A year ago then they traveled in Week 2 to meet the Seattle Seahawks. Ring a bell?
Two players who no longer wear stars on their helmets helped Dallas dig an early 10-0 hole. Before the Cowboys picked up a first down in Seattle, Felix Jones fumbled the opening kickoff and Dan Connor got overpowered to allow a blocked punt. The Cowboys never recovered, losing 27-7 in a game lowlighted by Golden Tate’s illegal hit on linebacker Sean Lee.
Dallas might be 1-0, but it isn’t near good enough to suffer a similar letdown and beat the Chiefs who, by the way, are 3-point favorites at Arrowhead Stadium,
“This is going to be a very difficult defense to go against in the environment that we’re going to be in,” quarterback Tony Romo said Wednesday at Valley Ranch. “I think this might ... of our opening five, six games, this could be the toughest, with the environment and the problems they do defensively and their scheme. This will be a very difficult game to go in and execute at a high level. We're trying to do things to make sure we give ourselves the best chance to be able to do that.”
Like Seattle, Kansas City has one of the loudest crowds in the NFL. Falling behind – especially 10-0 before all the units have been introduced – would have disastrous implications. Last week the Chiefs’ defense limited a (admittedly awful) Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense to 178 yards, sacked quarterback Blaine Gabbert six times and intercepted him twice.
The Chiefs haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 1998. But the Cowboys have suffered a letdown from 1-0 as recently as 2012.
If I'm Jason Garrett, this week I show players the highlights of the jubliation from last year's win in New York. Then I pop in the first five minutes of the Seattle debacle, drop the microphone and walk out of the room.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.