Week 2 of the NFL season can't come soon enough for the Cowboys and their fans. After a gut wrenching loss in Week 1 to the New York Jets, the Cowboys head out to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in Week 2, as they look to even up their record at 1-1.
Most fans and media alike will remember Dallas' fourth quarter miscues more than anything from Week 1. Quarterback Tony Romo will have a chance on Sunday to atone for his costly fourth quarter turnovers - a fumble at New York's goal line and an interception that led to New York's game winning field goal.
Still, Dallas' offense looked very good against one of the toughest defensive units in the NFL. Romo, despite the pivotal turnovers, was 23-for-36 for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Miles Austin had five receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown while Dez Bryant was electric before losing effectiveness to leg cramps during the game.
On Sunday, the Cowboys' offense will face off against a mediocre defense. The 49ers were 17th in 2010 in points allowed, allowing on average 21.6 points per game. In their Week 1 win over the Seahawks, the 49ers allowed 17 points, with both touchdowns coming on Tavaris Jackson passes. Dallas' receivers should have an easier time getting free against Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown compared to Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
Dallas' offensive line will have to be sure to keep an eye on Patrick Willis at all times, as Willis is easily the leader of San Francisco's defense. Romo and the offensive line may need to keep an eye on Ray McDonald as well, who caused some trouble for Seattle's offensive line in Week 1.
More importantly, though, Rob Ryan and his defense will be facing an offense with serious question marks. Despite coming out of Week 1 with a win, the 49ers remain troubled. Alex Smith was 15-of-20 passing in San Francisco's win over the Seahawks, but only threw for an anemic 124 yards. Frank Gore, who recently just inked a contract extension with the 49ers, wasn't spectacular either, rushing 22 times for just 59 yards.
San Francisco's 33-17 win over Seattle was largely fueled by special teams play, specifically Ted Ginn Jr. Ginn ran back a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter before rattling off a 55 yard punt return for a touchdown. The Cowboys will need to contain Ginn and San Francisco's special teams on Sunday and force Smith and the 49ers' offense to score points.
While it's ridiculous to label games as must-win in Week 2 of the season, the Cowboys need to avoid falling too far behind in what should be a very competitive NFC East.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CDT, 1:05 p.m. locally in San Francisco. Televised coverage can be found regionally on FOX.