“Here we go again.”
That’s something Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t want to hear today in San Francisco.
To help dispel fears of a possible replay of last year, when the Cowboys (0-1) dropped a gut-wrenching 13-7 decision at Washington in the opener and went on to start 1-7, they have to beat the 49ers (1-0) in a 3:05 p.m. game at Candlestick Park.
Dallas blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead last week in losing 27-24 at the New York Jets.
“We had a chance to get a prize in New York,” Jones told reporters Thursday in Irving. “We want to get by that and get it off our minds, and I’m probably the last one to get by it.
“Consequently, we all know that based on what happened last year, we need to get a better start, to be trite. That means we have to win a game, so it’s important.”
Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten described a sense of urgency in the locker room. In Week 2 last season, the Cowboys lost at home to Chicago.
“Obviously, we want to get off to a good start, especially after last year when we learned firsthand what that’s about,” Witten said. “This team is sticking together, and we seem like we’ve bounced back good.
Not too late
“Like Tony (Romo) said yesterday, I don’t think the story is written yet. We can control it, and we have to do something about it.”
Not everybody at Valley Ranch is looking back to last season, which saw Dallas finish 6-10. Coach Jason Garrett, who was named interim coach at midseason after Jones fired Wade Phillips, is reluctant to talk about 2010 because it would go against his stay-in-the-moment philosophy.
“Last year is last year, and really last week is last week, and yesterday is yesterday,” Garrett said. “You’ve heard me say this before, and I just believe it from the bottom of my heart, it’s what the players hear from me and our coaching staff over and over again: Control what you can control.
“That’s your practice today, your meeting today, your walk-through today. Learn from it when you come off the practice field, put it to bed and let’s go have a good day tomorrow. That’s the process we go through.
“If you spend too much time concerning yourself with what happened last year or yesterday or last week, you are going to prevent yourself from being your best with the upcoming challenges, and we certainly have one this week.”
Don’t look back
The Cowboys took a kick in the gut last week by losing a game they should have won, but they know it doesn’t have to be viewed as a sign that a 2010-like slide is looming. Since realignment in 2002, 62 of the 108 playoff teams (57.4 percent) began the season 1-1 or 0-2.
“The ideal situation is you win every game, right?” Garrett said. “But it’s unrealistic in this league. You are going to be challenged in this league. Every time you break the huddle, it’s a challenge – for players, for coaches, for everybody. What we are going to keep trying to do is put the last one to rest – good or bad – and go on to the next one.”
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