Updated: Sep 21
The Dallas Cowboys 2023 home opener was originally slated to pit Aaron Rodgers vs. the dominant Dallas defense. However, the injured Jets quarterback would not play this Sunday - or any future Sunday this year, and with Aaron Rodgers out, the Cowboys were 8.5 point favorites at game time.
We had purchased tickets and parking passes in advance on SeatGeek, and our hour-long drive to AT&T Stadium from downtown Dallas was uneventful due to the fact that we arrived an hour and a half before kickoff.
After parking at lot 15 near the stadium, we checked out the tailgating areas located in the Silver 4, 11 and 12 parking lots.
Tejano music blasted over generator-powered speakers, TVs were tuned into various NFL games and smoke from Weber grills flavored the air with the smells of grilled meats.
As we entered AT&T Stadium with 100,000 people, the visiting Jets fans were pumping themselves up with chants of J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS.
As we arrived at our seats in the 200 level of the stadium, I took in the incredible pre-game atmosphere.
Both teams finished their on-field warm-ups with thirty minutes to go before kickoff, and Jerry Jones conferred with Cowboys defensive star Micah Parsons as the Cowboys ran into their locker room at the 50 yard line.
Woody Johnson, the Jets’ billionaire owner, held court on the other sideline with what looked to be his grandson.
Michael Irvin delivered a strong message to the crowd on the big screen before kickoff with the Cowboy’s motto this year: “Seize everything,” presumably meaning a Super Bowl championship.
Then, at 3:25pm local time, it was GAME TIME.
On the first possession of the game, the Cowboys drove down the field efficiently, resulting in a touchdown pass, and then their strong defensive play led to a negative yardage play and a monster sack from Micah Parsons, who crawled for seven yards after the sack to celebrate.
In the second quarter, the Jets struck back with a one-play touchdown strike on a slant to Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, and the raucous home crowd fell silent.
The Cowboys then marched down the field and thanks to a pair of crucial Jets penalties and great runs by diminutive rookie running back Deuce Vaughn, the Cowboys scored and successfully went for two to go up 18-7 with 1:52 left in the first half.
The Jets’ two-minute offense resulted in several long runs by quarterback Zach Wilson and capitalized with a field goal to send it to halftime with a score of 18-10.
Two more Cowboys field goals in the third quarter put the score at 24-10 as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Right before the fourth quarter began, there was a celebration of Hispanic Heritage month with Mexican and Colombian flag waving and singing in Spanish.
The Cowboys then turned three fourth quarter interceptions into another 6 points and the game ended at 30-10 with the Cowboys sitting at 2-0 to start the season.
As the delighted home crowd filed out of the stadium, the prevailing thought was that perhaps the Cowboys will indeed "Seize Everything" on their way to a world championship this year.