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Ellis: Seattle Proved 2011 Tampa Blowout Means Nothing Now

Up in the press box before Sunday's game at the Kingdome Qwest Field CenturyLink Field, it was pointed out to me that no active quarterback has put up better numbers against the Seahawks in his career than Tony Romo.

Funny, I thought, it seems like Romo has dominated the Buccaneers more than anyone, dating back to a five touchdown game against them in 2006, and flawless three-TD performances in Tampa to start the 2009 season and again last year. But I was mistaken, the point being made was that Romo was the toughest opponent for Seattle to handle, not that the Seahawks were the easiest matchup, historically, for Romo. In fact, Romo's passer rating is higher against the Bucs (144.8) than any other team.

But, of course, the Seahawks' decimation of the Cowboys and stymieing of their passing game proved that history doesn't mean too much. It means nothing, actually.

Though the Cowboys beat Seattle (at home) in 2011 by a 23-13 margin, in a game they led 23-6 until Marshawn Lynch piled in for a late touchdown, last year clearly didn't matter. The Cowboys were a different team on Sunday than they were last November. The Seahawks clearly were a different team. The games and the situations were so different.

This is stating the obvious, sure, but it's still worth mentioning in the wake of the Cowboys being upset in Seattle: The 31-15 dismantling in Week 15 of 2011 won't help the Cowboys on Sunday.

Maybe stating the obvious last week would've put the matchup in Seattle in better perspective.

Laurent Robinson won't be scoring any touchdowns this game, and Sammy Morris won't be gaining 53 yards. You probably can't expect 108 yards from Felix Jones, either. The Cowboys led 28-0 at the half last December, but they won't be spotted any points this week.

It's likely the Cowboys will be favored again this time around, if only by virtue of being the home team, so consider this another chance to see if they're as good as we all thought they were based on their level of play in recent years, the talent base and the first two weeks of the season, which certainly included the highest high and the lowest low.

Those of us who cover the team on a daily basis and the fans who watch every game certainly expected the Cowboys to beat Seattle based on those things, but they didn't. Most of us will expect them to beat Tampa Bay, based on all things we know about both teams, but the past means nothing.

The Buccaneers who upset Cam Newton and Carolina, and very nearly did the same thing in New York are not the same Bucs who lost their last 10 games last year. So, we shouldn't take anything for granted, and the Cowboys certainly shouldn't.

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