Naturally, the revamped Cowboys secondary will be leaned upon heavily to defend the honor of their fans in Week One against the hated Giants. What more do you need to get your blood boiling than Eli Manning fist pumping after throwing a TD strike? Or Victor Cruz salsa dancing beyond a beaten Cowboys defender after putting six points on the board? Admittedly, the Giants are one of the last teams Cowboys fans would prefer to throw a green rookie cornerback and a first-time starter at safety into the ring against.
WEEK ONE – AT NEW YORK GIANTS
- Special Assignment #1: Shut-down (shut-up) the Class Clown
The abrupt grueling assignment against the Giants’ flight crew has been well known since the 2012-13 schedule was released. Beyond the typical dangers within the Giants passing game lurks a very familiar face with an even more familiar big mouth. Not only will Dallas fans call on their secondary to hold down the vaunted Giants vertical game, there will also be a special call to silence the infamous Martellus Bennett.
It’s nothing new for many Dallas fans to view Marty-B as a thorn in their side. But September 5th will mark the first occasion the former class clown will bounce around the opposing sideline. And the last thing folks in silver and blue ever want to witness is Marty B ripping through the new secondary and prancing around with a childish grin shaking his finger to “I told you so!”
Not only must the new starters be aware of the difficult challenge they face spread out wide in the New York offense, but the 6’6 nuisance lugging along the middle of the field needs to be contained with authority. This may be Barry Church’s first assignment against some of the Giants’ multiple formations. Let’s hope Church atones himself well right from the get go and sets a stern tone for the rest of the season.
WEEK TWO – AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
- Special Assignment #2: Keep the Popcorn Stale
Yeah, I know, the Seattle Seahawks 22nd ranked passing offense in 2011 was a far cry from the Giant’s 5th ranked aerial unit. Matt Flynn is no Eli Manning under center. For that matter, this will be Flynn’s first NFL season as a starting quarterback. Top receiver Sidney Rice hasn’t broken 500 yards receiving since 2009. In 2011, Rice, Golden Tate, and Doug Baldwin combined for just over 1,650 yards and 9 TD’s total between the 3 of them.
Still not shaking in your Cowboy boots? Well guess who just arrived in Sea-town…none other than Terrell “Get Your Popcorn Ready” Owens. And word from Seattle says he ran a 4.45 40 yards and is looking crisp in his routes. With the limited talent sitting in front of him at WR, I fully expect T.O. to get some work in against the Cowboys in their home opener.
What’s the only thing worse than Martellus Bennett exploding during Week One in New York for substantial yards and a TD or two? The answer is simply Terrell Owens accomplishing that same embarrassing feat in Seattle. Whoever draws Owen’s number come Week Two, even thought they may be first-year Cowboys, that player needs to realize T.O. must not be allowed to strut his way to a strong game. No dancing, no smiling, no popcorn. This is non-negotiable.
Cowboys fans will naturally be very excited to see how their new-look secondary stacks up against strong opposition early on. However, it’s on the coaches and veteran teammates to inform the new faces just how critical it is to keep a very tight leash on these two former Cowboys nuisances.
Want to grace the spotlight in a very negative, embarrassing light? Allow one of these two ex-Cowboys to score on you while wearing the star. It’s absolutely guaranteed to be front and center on ESPN for the entire following week. Certainly not an ideal way to kick-off the latest portion of a career as starting members of the Dallas defense. Carr, Church, and Claiborne…this one goes out to you guys…always defend the star.