DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – It’s football time again and we’re going to be enveloped by so many story lines in the coming weeks we won’t be able to sleep at night thinking about what’s coming next. But before we get to the dastardly Eagles in Week 2, let’s focus on what’s in front of us.
With the Cowboys season opener coming, I present to you 9 Reasons to Get Amped for Week 1 Cowboys-Giants. Like you really need any.
1. It’s a division rival. It’s the dang Giants for that matter. Division games are huge when it comes to tiebreakers, division champs and playoffs. Win your division matchups and you could very well be on your way to the playoffs. The Cowboys haven’t lost in 4 straight games and are 7-0 against the Giants in season openers.
2. It’s a Sunday night game. The entire country is going to be watching your team. The entire country can gauge what they think about this team immediately and they will be looked at as easy contenders or likely pretenders by a majority of the nation based on whether they bury the Giants or lay an egg. I think this team still has something to prove from last year, they didn’t think they were done last year and they want to prove it immediately.
3. No running game. I know a lot of people might think this is crazy, but I love that the Giants have no clue who to scout. I understand a lot of people are freaked out about who will start and who will be the bell cow. Not me. Not yet. I feel like they have talented running backs, and an offensive line that can create great lanes. Also, a passing threat that has to keep the secondary honest. As much as Demarco Murray made the offense tick last year, the rest of the offense did their jobs to give him more opportunities to run.
4. DEZ. T-Will. Cole. This trio is electric. We already know that Scott Linehan uses all the receivers creatively. And we started to see that a little last year against the Giants. They had no clue where Tony Romo was going with the ball. Beasle averaged 33 yards a catch with a TD against the Giants last year. In the last 3 games, Dez is averaging 107 yards a game with a couple TD’s and around 9 catches a game. The Giants safety position is a mess, their top 4 of 6 safeties are done. I would expect an attack in the air for sure.
5. The Tight Ends. Last year Gavin freakin Escobar had 3 catches for 65 yards and 2 TD’s against the Giants. He probably could have had more too. Jason Witten over the last four games, 18-164- 5 TD’S. Let me repeat, 5 TD’s. If you play fantasy football, you know the Giants stink against TE’s. Those are the soft spots in their defense, where the TE’s can get and where the running back can get into the flats. Jon Beason looks like he is going to play, but I feel like the Cowboys can still attack the line backing crew of this D.
6. What’s this D really about? Look we really won’t see the whole defense together possibly until week 4, but I’m excited to see Sean Lee out on the field. Tyrone Crawford is a beast, the secondary is always a bit of a question mark, but they seem to make plays and should benefit from a pass rush (on paper). That being said, the front office did a lot to improve and reconfigure the defense this offseason, and I think they are ready to prove they aren’t a coached up smoke and mirrors D. If they bring the toughness they’ve been talking about all off season, this could be one of the more intimidating units Dallas has seen, and that says a lot considering the history here.
7. Jason Garrett. Did you realize he’s only three wins away from tying Jimmy Johnson’s regular season record in Dallas? Yeah but Jimmy won Super Bowls. Jimmy won Super Bowls when? Jimmy won Super Bowls the year after his first playoff appearance with the Cowboys it took three seasons before they made the Super Bowl and that includes a terrible 1 win season and complete rebuild of the franchise. Jason has rebuilt over his 5 seasons, but he’s never wiped the slate clean. That being said, after Jimmy’s first playoff appearance with Dallas, the Cowboys won 2 consecutive Super Bowls. Just remember that.
8. The Jones’. I give the Jones family a lot of credit. You’ve heard it thousands of times, nobody wants to win more than Jerry Jones…maybe Robert Kraft considering he’s kept a no-good dirty cheater on staff for 15-years, but Jerry Jones wants to prove that he can adapt to a new era. Before the salary cap he and Jimmy were able to build the best roster and spend whatever they needed to win. But Jerry has struggled to do the same thing since then. I think Stephen has done a fine job setting a stern line as to how they will spend their money, and trusting Will McClay to acquire young talent in the draft. I think Jerry has done a phenomenal job closing when he’s called upon, and keeping this franchise on the right path. Plus, Jerry is in an interesting mood of late. One that has me excited.
No. 9 himself. Tony Romo. If all indications are true, this is as healthy as he’s been in years. And that’s a good thing. But more importantly, he had a year of bad health, which kind of limited him and forced him to rely on precision, accuracy and high percentage plays. He showed patience, poise and leadership that I haven’t seen his entire career. I hope he doesn’t revert back, I hope he’s become more Jason Kidd and while he knows he was once capable of making electric exciting big time plays, he also knows he doesn’t have to do it on every play. Sometimes a solid bounce pass can lead to a win, just like a check down. This team relies on Tony to make the right call and decision for what’s best for the team, and with the growth we saw last year, I believe the direction of this team is solid north.
Cory Mageors is co-host of The K&C Masterpiece 7-11 weeknights on 105.3 The Fan. Follow him on twitter @inthemageors and the show @kandc1053
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