The Cowboys season opener on Sept. 11 will be emotional not only for the players returning from the lockout -- if it ends to start the season on time -- but mainly because it's the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the East Coast.
A subplot has New York Jets coach, Rex Ryan, taking on his brother Rob, the Cowboys' new defensive coordinator.
"Well it’s always great," Rex Ryan said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "I have a great time going against my brother; it’s always kind of emotional for me and everything else. But the fact that it’s on 9/11, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, that’s where the focus should be. It shouldn’t be on my brother and I competing against each other even though that’s a family thing and that’s something that we’re awful proud of.
"But the fact that it’s going to be on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I feel honored that we’re going to be playing, right there in our stadium. That’s fantastic. It’s obviously going to be an emotional night for everybody, not just in the New York/New Jersey area but in the whole country. I feel honored we’ll be opening up the season playing at home."
Rex Ryan said the fact his brother won't get a chance to install his defense during the offseason while the players are locked out won't be too much of a problem.
"To be honest, that team is going to be ready to go," Rex Ryan said. "He’s going to have them buzzing. He’s a tremendous coach and we know he’ll have his team ready to go. Again, our focus is going to be on us and not on them as much."
So, what about trash talking?
"That could be," Rex Ryan said. "It’s going to be a little different. The fact that the game is on opening night and the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 will put a little damper on [the trash-talking]. I certainly don’t want to do something that would take away from [honoring the anniversary of 9/11]. This game certainly won’t be about my brother and I. I think there probably won’t be as much trash-talking as maybe what’s gone on in the past."