IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo remembers what happened last year in Seattle.
He was the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback when the noise was deafening and the game was taken away so quickly.
Hopes were high after a Week 1 victory over the New York Giants, but the next game, in the Pacific Northwest, went sour.
The Seattle Seahawks beat Dallas 27-7, and suddenly there was drama in the Cowboys' universe.
Romo doesn’t want that again. He yearns for peace and tranquility, yet he knows the noise level for this season's Week 2 game, against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, is going to get on his nerves -- and knows he’s got to deal with it.
"I think this team in general, schemewise, they're nothing like Seattle," Romo said. "But I think more than anything when you watch [Kansas City], they're very talented on defense. Their scheme is very tough to deal with, and the environment will be very tough. Putting those three together, it’s going to make for a challenging day, and I think we have to play our best football."
Now the Cowboys visit Arrowhead with their quarterback nursing a bruised rib, a star wide receiver ( Dez Bryant) coping with an achy foot and a starting cornerback ( Morris Claiborne) playing with a harness supporting his left shoulder.
Did we mention that the offensive line could add veteran Brian Waters to the guard position?
While the Cowboys are guaranteed they won't start 0-2, teams that open 1-1 aren't exactly postseason locks -- and finishing .500 remains a question mark for this Dallas squad. Since 1990, 41 percent of the NFL teams that start 1-1 reach the postseason. Romo said Sunday’s game against Kansas City is among the biggest on the early portion of the schedule.
The Chiefs' defense shut out Jacksonville's offense in Week 1, holding it to 178 total yards on 70 plays. Kansas City sacked Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert six times and picked him off twice. Romo doesn’t want that happening to him.
"This is going to be a very difficult defense to go against in the environment that we’re going to be in," Romo said. "I think this might ... of our opening five, six games, this could be the toughest, with the environment and the problems they do defensively and their scheme. This will be a very difficult game to go in and execute at a high level. We're trying to do things to make sure we give ourselves the best chance to be able to do that."
The Cowboys don’t want a repeat of Seattle from a year ago. They understand that injuries are part of winning and losing around here. But when you listen to Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson talk about what the noise level needs to be, you begin to see why Romo might be worried.
“We have the luxury of playing in Arrowhead, you know how Arrowhead is when it’s rocking and we’re playing good ball,” Johnson said. “In the first game, we are [going to be] playing good ball, so I can’t see why it’s not going to be rocking this week. I can’t wait for Sunday. Dallas is going to be in for a rude awakening with our crowd, so I can’t wait.”
During his chat with reporters on Wednesday, Romo wore a stern look on his bearded face when talking about the Week 2 game.
Who can blame him? Just think about Seattle.
"It's a completely different team, different guys on this football team," Romo said. "I think one thing you have to understand is we’re playing against a really, really good football team, that when it's all said and done will probably be in or near the playoffs at the end of the year in the AFC. So we understand the challenge this is. We know we have to play our best football to have a chance in this game."