Week one’s goal for the Dallas Cowboys was to get by the New York Giants intact and able to contend in the NFC East and the National Football League this season. No one thought they could up-end the reigning Super Bowl champions, but they showed up in a big way and handed the Giants an opening night defeat. All is well at Valley Ranch correct? Well not so fast.
There are still health concerns about key players like Jason Witten and Jay Ratliff. And of course the season must go on as Dallas travels north to take on the Seattle Seahawks. No big deal right? Think again. This is professional football we’re talking about here. Any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday. Sunday afternoon’s game between the Cowboys Seahawks is no different. There’s no guarantee Dallas will come out with a victory and improve their record to 2-0. The game still has to be played, and play it they will.
I know most of you are thinking, “C’mon man, this is the Seahawks we’re talking about here.” The same Seattle team that Dallas beat last season 23-13. The same Seattle team that has a rookie starting quarterback in Russell Wilson. Even though Seattle lost to a struggling Arizona Cardinals team that may challenge the St. Louis Rams for the worst record in that division, they still had some good play come from a surprise starter in Wilson and a defense that can cause all kinds of problems for opposing offenses and usually gets overlooked. Let’s also not forget about Marshawn Lynch who, when he turns on “Beast Mode,” is one of the toughest backs to get on the ground.
The biggest mistake Dallas can make is resting on their accomplishments from week one. They played a complete game, but it was far from perfect. Complacency kills good team quicker than almost anything else.
So what does Dallas have to do to come out on top in Seattle? It’s very simple. If they stay focused and don’t play down to their competition they will be victorious. A healthy dose of DeMarco Murray to wear down that stout run defense Seattle posses, and we will most likely see what we did opening night when passing lanes opened up for Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Kevin Ogletree.
The defense needs to show the league they are not a one-hit wonder. They played with fire in their bellies against the Giants, and we should see more pressure applied to Wilson than Eli Manning saw. Performing so well against stiff competition is what this defensive unit needed, especially considering the complexity of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme. Since Dallas played so well in week one under that scheme expect Ryan to turn the heat up a little and welcome the rookie to the league properly.