High-flying Cowboys focus on Seahawks
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett tells his team to celebrate successes for 24 hours, then move on. But for Jones, one of those exceptions came after his team opened the season with a 24-17 road victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants on Wednesday.
The Cowboys had 11 days between the opener and their second game Sunday in Seattle. So what to do?
"It's an eternity when you lose and to some degree, you just want to get that taste out of your mouth," Jones said. "On the other hand, when you have something as satisfying as we had in New York, you don't want that taste to ever leave. So you just drag it out by the minute, or drag it out by the hour."
Five days after the victory -- and after a two-day weekend break for the players -- Jones was clearly still relishing the successful start. The 24 hours had stretched into more than 100.
But Jones also said that while he continues to have pleasant memories of the victory, he also is excited about the challenge of the next 15 games.
"There's enough that we have to do as we look ahead to keep you from sitting around smiling," Jones said.
High on the to-do list is getting as many repetitions as possible between quarterback Tony Romo and backup centers Ryan Cook and David Arkin. Starting center Phil Costa, who has a lower back strain, said Monday that he will not be able to play against the Seahawks.
Costa played only three downs against the Giants. Arkin had not been on the active roster, so the job fell to Cook, a seven-year veteran the Cowboys acquired on Aug. 31 from Miami for a future draft pick.
Cook was not error-free, but he not only survived the experience, Romo did, too. The Cowboys had 433 yards of total offense, so the offensive line was doing something right.
"Being thrown in those situations, it's important to respond and I thought I responded fairly well," Cook said. "But I know I've got things to work on."
The Cowboys' defense also excelled against the Giants, limiting nemesis Eli Manning to 213 yards passing and one touchdown.
Seattle starts rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw for 153 yards and had one touchdown and one pass intercepted in a loss Sunday at Arizona. The Cowboys are taking nothing for granted.
"He's a rookie quarterback but he has a lot of savvy," Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr said. "Just looking at film, you couldn't tell he's a rookie. He handles himself well in the pocket. When he gets out of the pocket, he keeps his poise and gets the ball down the field."
The Seahawks have one of the top home-field advantages in the league. Garrett said that during practices this week, the Cowboys will pump additional noise over the loudspeakers during practice to simulate conditions during the game.
That will help focus the Cowboys on the task ahead.
"It's always a challenge to move on," Garrett said. "But we continue to preach it. It's a good philosophy for football players and it's a good philosophy for life. The players were off over the weekend and now we're focused on Seattle."
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