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My Top 10 All-Time Most Memorable Cowboys' Season Openers

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Most Memorable Cowboys Openers

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Good to know the Cowboys’ braintrust reads Blue Star Blog.

Well, don’t they?

One morning we’re fretting about the lack of quality along the lines and, voila, before sundown the team makes a couple trades to bolster both positions. For help along an offensive line floundering because of injuries to Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ron Leary, the Cowboys have signed 36-year-old veteran Brian Waters to play guard. And to aid a defensive front uncertain due to Anthony Spencer’s recovery from knee surgery, they’ve traded for defensive end Caesar Rayford from the Indianapolis Colts.

Obviously, we jest. Didn’t take a nuclear physicist to spot the Cowboys’ troubles in the trenches. And how much the two new acquisitions help remains to be seen.

Rayford (uniform No. 95), who had five sacks in the preseason, will play Sunday night against the Giants. Waters (No. 64) won’t be ready this week, and might be slow to regain his form after sitting out all of last season in the wake of a Pro Bowl year in 2011. (Some of us wanted to sign Waters two years ago, but better late than never right?)

But I don’t get the criticism of the Cowboys for attempting to plug holes. Let me get this straight: On Sept. 4, 2011 the New England Patriots signed Waters and were hailed as “shrewd.” But on Sept. 3, 2013 the Cowboys signed Waters and are criticized as “scrambling”?

The move makes the Cowboys better this week, and beyond. And it could be worse. The Jets (Geno Smith) and Bills (E.J. Manuel) both waited until today to name rookies as their starting quarterbacks.

Should be a fascinating opener Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. The Giants have never lost in Arlington (4-0). And the Cowboys have never lost to New York in an opener (6-0).

Here’s hoping the game cracks this list of my Top 10 all-time most memorable Cowboys’ season openers:

10. 9.24.60 Steelers 35, at Cowboys 28 – Cowboys’ late rally falls short in franchise debut in a half-empty Cotton Bowl.

9. 9.15.68 at Cowboys 59, Lions 13 – Don Meredith throws 4 TDS as Dallas establishes record for most points in a game.

8. 9.18.77 Cowboys 16, at Vikings 10 – Roger Staubach scores from 4 yards out in OT to launch a Super Bowl season.

7. 9.12.10 at Redskins 13, Cowboys 7 – Tashard Choice fumbles early; Alex Barron holds late.

6. 9.10.89 at Saints 28, Cowboys 0 – A sobering debut en route to 1-15 disaster for Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones.

5. 9.12.99 Cowboys 41, at Redskins 35 – Troy Aikman 76 yards to Rocket Ismail in OT caps frantic rally from 21 down.

4. 9.7.92 at Cowboys 23, Redskins 10 – Issiac Holt blocks a punt and Dallas upsets the Super Bowl champs on MNF.

3. 9.8.86 at Cowboys 31, Giants 28 – Herschel Walker scores late for successful, hyped debut with Tony Dorsett.

2. 9.8.02 at Texans 19, Cowboys 10 – Jerry Jones still calls the hapless loss to expansion Houston his most humbling.

1. 9.5.83 Cowboys 31, at Redskins 30 – Danny White’s TD pass to Tony Hill helps erase 20-point halftime deficit on MNF.

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.

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