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Cowboys take on Bucs in season-opener

Last meeting
In Week 8 of last season, the Cowboys got a strong defensive effort and shut down the visiting Buccaneers in a 13-9 victory.

Dallas has won the past two meetings to extend its overall series lead to 8-3.

Keep your eye on ...
Tony Romo's leadership: With Terrell Owens no longer in the mix, the Cowboys are clearly Romo's team. The star quarterback has put up some gaudy stats over the past three years, but his leadership has been questioned at times. His first chance to show he is maturing as the team leader and can succeed without Owens comes this Sunday.

Jason Garrett's play-calling: When Dallas went 13-3 in 2007, Garrett was the hot coordinator. After a disappointing offensive finish last season, his reputation was somewhat diminished. Look for him to lean on the ground attack a lot more, starting with the season-opener against the Bucs.

Byron Leftwich's playing time: New Bucs coach Raheem Morris has already demonstrated he has little patience when he fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski at the end of the preseason. If Leftwich struggles early, it will be interesting to see if Morris turns to rookie Josh Freeman or second-year QB Josh Johnson.

Did you know?
The Cowboys have the league's best record on opening weekend (33-15-1). ... Dallas DT Jay Ratliff was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season. ... When RB Cadillac Williams has 22-plus carries in a game, the Bucs are 10-0.

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