Sunday, September 15, 2013
Can Cowboys learn from 2012's Week 2?
By Tim MacMahon
KANSAS CITY -- Can these Dallas Cowboys build on their Week 1 success? Or will they stumble like they did last season?
The Week 2 similarities are striking. Just like last year, the Cowboys are coming off an emotional win against the New York Giants and traveling to face a foe that didn’t generate much preseason hype, playing in front of a crowd known for its high-decibel hollering.
The Cowboys got caught slipping in Seattle last season, getting dominated by a Seahawks squad that ended up being a contender. Dallas is determined not to have a repeat performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team the Cowboys respect despite their 2-14 record in 2012.
“I think there are some lessons to learn,” said coach Jason Garrett, who noted that the Chiefs had five Pro Bowlers despite their poor record last season, evidence of the top-end talent on the Kansas City roster. “We had a good win last year, up in New York, a game the visiting team hadn't won in 12 years. That was a big win for our team, to win one on the road against a really, really good football team. In a hard environment in Seattle, we didn't do the things that winning football teams do.”
That’s putting it mildly. At least the Cowboys know Felix Jones won’t lose a fumble on the opening kickoff in this game.
(Quick aside: We can’t let the week pass without mentioning that Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles was selected 51 picks after the Cowboys selected Jones in the 2008 draft.)
The Cowboys trailed by 10 points by the time folks’ morning cup of coffee kicked in last year in Seattle. They were sloppy to start the game and physically dominated in the second half, when Marshawn Lynch ran the ball down Dallas’ throat to slam the door in the Cowboys’ faces.
Also, they never gave Seattle’s “12th Man” a reason to quiet down. Dallas hopes to hush the “Sea of Red” after practicing this week with the AT&T Stadium sound system cranked to prepare for the challenges the Arrowhead Stadium crowd presents.
In Seattle, the Cowboys looked like a team that spent more time celebrating their season-opening success than focusing on their next opponent. They vow that won’t be the case again in Kansas City.
“One thing we’re trying to create, and that’s what Coach Garrett has talked about, is winning a big game and then stacking more wins on each other,” tight end Jason Witten said. “That’s what our focus is, and it’s easier said than done.”