Cowboys at Seahawks -- Week 2 

Where: Seattle, CenturyLink Field (turf, outdoors)

When: Sunday, Sept. 16, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Spread: Cowboys by 3

Forecast: Clear skies; projected kickoff temperature: mid-70s.

Records: Cowboys (Overall: 1-0, NFC East: 1-0), Seahawks (Overall: 0-1, NFC West: 0-0)

Past results: Two most recent meetings-- Nov. 6, 2011: Cowboys 23, Seahawks 13; Nov. 1, 2009: Cowboys 38, Seahawks 17. Series record: Cowboys hold a 9-5 edge

What matters: While there has been plenty of talk surrounding Tony Romo’s return to Seattle for the first time since the 2006 Wild Card game in which he fumbled a potential game-winning field goal snap, this game is about the Cowboys trying to get to 2-0. Dallas has not started 2-0 in four years. If the Cowboys can complete the coast-to-coast road trip start with wins over the Giants and Seahawks, it could provide the boost this team needs to meet lofty expectations. The Cowboys have lost games which they were expected to win, especially after a big win like they had in Week 1. So getting some consistency to start this season is a must. 

Who matters: Running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 139 yards against the Seahawks in last year’s game and he already went for 131 yards against the Giants last week. Dallas is 4-0 when he rushes for 100 yards or more. When Murray's going well he provides balance that opens throwing lanes for Romo to spread the ball around to his receivers and his TE Jason Witten. If Murray is rolling, the Cowboys are hard to stop.

Key matchups: The Cowboys should be better on both offense and defense, but special teams are always a factor when playing on the road. Seattle return specialist Leon Washington is one of the most dangerous returners in the NFL. He can flip field position in a hurry. Second-year punter Chris Jones has done a nice job of angling punts towards the sideline without giving up much yardage in return. The Cowboys special teams got a double boost this week with the signing of rookie LeQuan Lewis and the return of special teams captain Danny McCray, who missed the first game with a shoulder injury. 

Injuries of note: The Cowboys are likely without DT Jay Ratliff (high ankle sprain), who missed the season opener against the Giants. Josh Brent will start again at defensive tackle if Ratliff doesn’t play. Center Phil Costa (back) is out and Ryan Cook will be the starting center. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh (concussion) has been able to practice this week and looks able to play.

Inside stuff: Where the Cowboys line up Mike Jenkins and how often will be interesting. Jenkins is expected to make his 2012 debut this week after missing all of the offseason rehabbing a shoulder injury. Jenkins has been a starter since 2009 when he made the Pro Bowl but the additions of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne have pushed him to a backup role. Orlando Scandrick has played in the slot, so Jenkins’ role will be interesting.

Stat you should know: Romo is 24-15 as a starting quarterback on the road and 24-15 as a starting quarterback at home during his career. Also, Romo is 22-8 when playing non-NFC teams outside of the division. 

Looking ahead: The Cowboys have been on the road for two straight games, but won’t go back on the road until mid-October after playing two straight homes games followed by a bye week.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Seahawks 19

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