The Dallas Cowboys head to New Jersey to play the Jets in the first Sunday Night game of the regular season.
The biggest storyline this year will be the matchup of the Ryan brothers. Rob Ryan makes his debut as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator. Rex of course is head coach of the Jets and one of football's loudest mouths. Unfortunately, game week trash talk has been scant, outside of Rob's awkward defense of Rex's extracurricular activities.
As to the actual game, the Jets come in as favorites following their run to the AFC Conference Championship game last year. There was little turnover on one of the league's best defenses from last season. If anything, a strong secondary gets even stronger with the return of safety Jim Leonhard from a broken leg.
On offense, the running game should once again feature behind Shonn Greene, LaDaininan Tomlinson and a strong offensive line. The receiving corps added Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason to offset the losses of Braylon Edwards and Jericho Cotchery. The maturation of Mark Sanchez behind center could be the key this game, and the Jets' season.
This year the Cowboys hope that a revamped Felix Jones will add a needed extra dimension to the offense. With Marion Barber gone, Jones is expected to earn the lion's share of carries. In anticipation he dropped weight in the offseason to regain his some of his elite explosiveness. The passing game remains a strength with Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten all returning.
Defensively, the biggest upgrade the Cowboys made in the offseason was the addition of Rob Ryan. Personnel-wise, the defense remains largely unchanged. That could prove problematic, especially for a secondary that ranked 26th giving up 243 yards per game.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, September 11, 2011; 8:20pm ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Cowboys: 105.3 The Fan
Jets: ESPN 1050
For more on the cowboys, check out the SB Nation blog Blogging the Boys. For more on Rex Ryan and the Jets be sure to head over to Gang Green Nation. Follow the rest of the Week One action at SB Nation NFL.