Why Dallas Cowboys Opening at Seattle is a Bad Idea

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Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks fans celebrate after winning Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Seattle Seahawks won 43-8. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Any other year, owner and general manager Jerry Jones would jump at the opportunity to open the season on prime time. He’s done this many times before, but this time it’s different.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated speculates that the Cowboys are one of just four teams that are likely candidates to open the 2014 regular season in the Pacific Northwest, a region where no NFL team really wants to play. This includes Denver, another of the four teams likely to end up at CenturyLink Field early next September.

Yeah, Super Bowl rematches can open the following regular season if the NFL schedule is lined up right, but do you think the executives at NBC want any part of the carnage that FOX just endured?

Of course not. Broncos fans and Manning enthusiasts will likely tune out early, thus leaving a pretty lean audience. Dallas, however, pulls a gigantic audience full of those who love to watch them win and those who want to see them lose—this really is a perfect matchup from a ratings standpoint.

Let’s assume that Jones has his choice of accepting this football game. Is it really wise to get into this type of game to open a season that threatens a fifth consecutive season without a trip to the postseason? Is this where you begin an assumed make-it-or-break it year for your still-training fifth-year head coach, Jason Garrett, who’s believed to be coaching for his life? Do you start in Seattle when the rest of your schedule includes the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, AFC South and NFC East?

Seems like the spotlight might not be such a good idea this time, Mr. Jones.

Remember that Dallas will have little in the way of dollars to spend on free agents from Seattle or anywhere else. The Cowboys will essentially be trying to fill the roster without breaking the bank, so don’t expect difference-makers as winter draws to a close.

How about the draft, you say?

Well, if recent history means anything—and it absolutely does—expect no more than one starter out of the coming draft class and possibly another solid contributor somewhere else. Even if Dallas lands three starters, all on defense, do you really think that this closes the gap with the Seahawks?

Yes, the Cowboys may be in position to run with Seattle in a couple of seasons, but that’s not going to include the one coming in just over half a year.

Jones has made a career, at least in recent seasons, selling the idea that his franchise is much closer than it really is to competing for another Vince Lombardi trophy. Whether he believes this or not is irrelevant. The fact is that he does this and the fan base, an awfully big one I’ll add, continues to buy in.

DMNs Moore exposes and blasts this strategy as well as it can be done. How in the world does Jones sell more deep balls—this time into the Seattle secondary—tossed up by a quarterback coming off another back surgery called by another new play-caller that’s hardly known for delivering exactly what Dallas needs offensively?

Let’s just say that if the Cowboys end up with another season opener on the road, this after getting a rare break last season against the New York Giants in Arlington, and get hammered, it would mean more than just a 0-1 start to the season.

This would be among the biggest let downs in franchise history, and there’s been some heavy-hitters in that category over the last several seasons—frankly, I’ve forgotten some due to the sheer volume. If the game gets ugly, like the last meeting between these two teams in Week 2 of 2012, what exactly would that say?

Maybe the Cowboys have a historic draft class this spring and prove me and many other skeptics wrong. Anything can and does happen in the NFL these days. But the Seahawks are clearly the best team in football, and also one that’s on the rise. Dallas, on the other hand, has no real idea where its headed and certainly seems to be on the way down.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Seattle Super Bowl

  • Old Frog

    Tough call. Lose but keep it close like the 49ers did it’s a “moral victory”. Get blown out like Denver then it could crater any confidence the team might have. Win and JJ can sell kool aid and jerseys for at least another 5 or 6 games.

    • Christian Blood

      Frog those are pretty much the options … not one of which seems very good for the big picture.

      I say pass on this.

      So Jerry will certainly do it LOL

  • SmartThinking

    This Dallas team is not built for, nor does it have the mentality to play heads up against the Seattle team I watched crush the life out of Denver last Sunday. Seattle is the the best team I’ve seen play the game in 20 years. They’re relentless and physical and they look for an opportunity to knock the crap out of anyone who gets near them.

    Everyone talks about the last Dallas/Denver game like it was the way Dallas played all year. I suggest Dallas played over their heads that game and Manning never had any doubt about beating them.

    Dallas is scheduled to play Seattle and the 49′s and New Orleans and Chicago this next season. The only comparison I can think of that even comes close to giving Dallas any chance whatsoever in any of these games is feeding the Christians to the lions.

    If Dallas makes it to 7-9, it’ll be a miracle in my book.

    • Christian Blood

      SmartThinking, that’s smart thinking.

      Seattle is probably the best team in 20 years, at least on both sides of the ball. Certainly better than anything that ever came out of New England, even while they were cheating.

      Your 7-9 prediction looks about right. I think it could be around 6-10 or even 5-11. I just don’t see how this team improves enough to remain .500 next year.

  • Earl Robertson

    I don’t need some columnist to point out for me what the Seahawks remind me of. After they lost to the Falcons In last year playoffs I already knew what this team reminded me

    • Christian Blood

      Earl this is true. I don’t see how this team comes close to 8-8 next season. The resources simply aren’t there.

  • Bill Nash

    Do not underestimate the Cowboys in this season OPENER. Dallas has a competitive team….their problem, like other NFL teams, as the season moves on is INJURIES! They should be at full strength for this game. Dallas will be the underdog….but Seattle may be just a little too cocky and get beat by a Cowboys team with just a little more desire.

    • Christian Blood

      I see where you’re coming from Bill, but there’s no guarantee at all that Dallas emerges from training camp healthy. Even if, Seattle is definitely a superior team and I don’t see any let down for Carroll’s bunch. Teams just love beating Dallas because of who they are and especially during a season opener at home on national television.

    • Fried Toast

      >”Seahawks may have caught the break of breaks like SF did years ago….having a mega talented team AND playing in a relatively weak division.”

      You’re kidding, right? Relatively weak division? How about the best division in the NFL right now? I think San Francisco was the 2nd best team in the NFL this year and the AZ Cardinals were an unfortunate victim to the system. I think the AZ defense would have similarly shut down Manning had they been in the Super Bowl.

      In 2014, the NFC West meets the AFC West, so we’ll see how good the divisions both are seeing as Denver and KC were two of the AFC’s best teams while Seattle and San Francisco were the NFC’s two best teams.

      I do agree with the writer that opening vs. Seattle would be a bad idea (for Dallas that is).

  • Fried Toast

    >”It’s true that starting March 11, the raid will begin on the Seattle roster”

    It shouldn’t be too bad this year. Sydney Rice and Chris Clemons will be gone. Zack Miller may be gone if there is no restructuring for him. Although Michael Bennett and Golden Tate have both stated they’d be willing to take a discount to keep the team together, they are also angling to get paid, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose at least one of the two (most likely Tate). Other than that, there isn’t much to raid. So next year should be a good year for the Hawks. I don’t know if we’ll be back in the Super Bowl again, but Seattle should actually be a better team next year. Our D has the depth to survive losing Clemons and we won the Super Bowl without Sydney Rice. Having a healthy Harvin will open up Seattle’s O (as can be seen in his limited 2013 opportunities – lots of big plays), so Seattle could ostensibly be a better team (same to similar D, but an improved O) in 2014. Don’t count on free agency knocking out the Hawks this year. At this time next year, there will be painful decisions to make, so save this article and use it in 2015. ;)