You know what they say about first impressions. And you also know that they’re flat-out wrong.
First impressions aren’t the most important, just merely the first.
Take last year’s Cowboys for example. Remember their opener, their 2013 first impression?
DeMarcus Ware intercepted Eli Manning on the first snap of the season and later in the game both Barry Church and Brandon Carr scored defensive touchdowns in a pulsating 36-31 victory over the Giants. The Cowboys finally beat New York in Arlington. Monte Kiffin’s new opportunistic defense forced six turnovers. Dallas parlayed its nationally televised 1-0 start into …
Unfortunately, first impressions were zero indication of future performance.
Ware went on to such an unproductive season that the Cowboys cut him. Kiffin was demoted after his defense produced just 22 more takeaways in the final 15 games and allowed the third-most yards in NFL history. And, of course, the Cowboys again missed the playoffs by again finishing 8-8.
Those are the impressions that are most meaningful. The lasting impressions.
So if the Cowboys upset the 49ers Sunday at AT&T Stadium they’re not going 16-0 and if they lose it doesn’t guarantee another 8-8.
Either way, it’s going to be difficult to crack their Top 10 all-time Most Memorable Openers:
10. Sept. 5, 2012 -- Cowboys 24 at Giants 17 – Kevin Ogletree’s two TD catches help upset the Super Bowl champs on the road.
9. Sept. 15, 1968 -- Lions 13 at Cowboys 59 – Don Meredith throws 4 TDS as Dallas establishes record for most points in a game.
8. Sept. 18, 1977 -- Cowboys 16 at Vikings 10 – Roger Staubach scores from 4 yards out in OT to launch a Super Bowl season.
7. Sept. 12, 2010 -- Cowboys 7 at Redskins 13 – Tashard Choice fumbles early; Alex Barron holds late.
6. Sept. 10, 1989 -- Cowboys 0 at Saints 28 – A sobering debut en route to 1-15 disaster for Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones.
5. Sept. 12, 1999 -- Cowboys 41 at Redskins 35 – Troy Aikman 76 yards to Rocket Ismail in OT caps frantic rally from 21 down.
4. Sept. 7, 1992 -- Redskins 10 at Cowboys 23 – Isaac Holt blocks a punt and Dallas upsets the Super Bowl champs on MNF.
3. Sept. 8, 1986 -- Giants 28 at Cowboys 31 – Herschel Walker scores late for successful, hyped debut with Tony Dorsett.
2. Sept. 9, 2002 -- Cowboys 10 at Texans 19 – Jerry Jones still calls the hapless loss to expansion Houston his most humbling.
1. Sept. 5, 1983 -- Cowboys 31 at Redskins 30 – Danny White’s TD pass to Tony Hill helps erase 20-point halftime deficit on MNF.