A moment that will forever remain engraved in the hearts and minds of the fans that wear the silver and blue with pride. It’s a moment used to define Romo’s career thus far. It’s a moment, which – in my opinion – is irrelevant, when talking about one of the most successful quarterbacks in Cowboys history, but I’ve digressed.
Here are some “keys to victory” for the Cowboys:
Stop the run: Marshawn Lynch is the heart and soul of the Seattle offense, there’s no surprise there. He’s a bit banged up so the Cowboys need to take advantage of him not being at 100%. Stopping the run will force rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to beat the Cowboys with his arm.
Matchup to watch: Marshawn Lynch vs. The Cowboys’ defensive line
Confuse and hit Wilson: The Cowboys need to hit Wilson early and often to get him out of his game. Rob Ryan will deploy multiple looks to confuse Wilson, causing hesitation and forcing mistakes. He’s a young quarterback and hasn’t been exposed to the type of heat Ryan’s defense will bring, especially if they can eliminate the running game and force Seattle to become a passing team.
Matchup to watch: Russell Okung vs. DeMarcus Ware
Remain a balanced team: The Seahawks have one of the best run defenses, but the Cowboys shouldn’t get away from their game plan. Going back to last season the Cowboys are 6-0 when DeMarco Murray gets at least 20 carries in a game. Last year Murray was one of two running backs who rushed for 100+ yards against Seattle. He finished that game with 139 yards on 22 carries.
Matchup to watch: DeMarco Murray vs. The Seahawks’ defensive line
Win the Special Teams Battle: Leon Washington is one of the best punt/kick returners in the NFL and the Cowboys have to contain him. In Seattle’s season opener against Arizona, Washington had an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return; in both cases Seattle’s offense put points on the board thanks to good field position.
Matchup to watch: Leon Washington vs. The Cowboys’ special teams unit
Remain disciplined: The Cowboys are notorious for penalties and although head coach Jason Garret preaches discipline, that hasn’t changed yet. In Dallas’ season opener they were penalized five times for false starts and as a team were flagged 15 times. 15 times! CenturyLink field is known for drawing more false starts from opponents per game than any other NFL stadium, something that doesn’t bode well for the offensive line.
Matchup to watch: The 12th man vs. The Cowboys offensive line
The Cowboys don’t need any extra motivation, but history has shown that when the Cowboys begin 2-0… They’ve made the playoffs more often than not.