IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys may never cherish a regular season victory more than Wednesday's opener against the NFC East rival Giants, who knocked Dallas out of playoff contention last year.
After leaving MetLife Stadium with a 24-17 win, the trick now for head coach Jason Garrett and the Cowboys' coaches is to move beyond the vastness of the Week 1 matchup and prepare for the Seahawks this weekend.
"It's always a challenge to move on," Garrett said. "We continue to preach it because we think it's important. It's a good philosophy for football players, teams, and it's a good philosophy for life. We're on to the next one."
Even owner Jerry Jones, who stressed the importance and meaning of the opener perhaps more than anyone throughout the preseason, also emphasized the significance of moving on.
"We've got to handle it in a way that is positive for our team," Jones said. "I think we will. The fact that we've had this break, it was kind of like a Thanksgiving break."
The strange schedule presented to the Cowboys should make the transition easier, as they prepare to face the Seahawks. Any revelry from the win should slowly cease in a 10-day period between games. The break also gives injured players like Danny McCray and Mike Jenkins time to heal.
Garrett met with the players on Friday to discuss what he saw in the opener. That would be the last mention of the Giants. The Cowboys then had a weekend off to clear their minds before gathering back together on Monday morning.
"I was probably in there 45 seconds," Garrett said. "I laid out the day, said it's time to move on, and the only thing that matters is what we do now."
It didn't take long for running back DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 131 yards against the Giants, to end his victory celebration and start looking at the Seahawks. The time off allowed him to watch Seattle play Arizona on Sunday.
"It was a good win for us," Murray said. "We enjoyed it that night and the next day, and we move right along to Seattle. We have a huge game this week coming up."
The Giants presented a much more familiar matchup than the Seahawks, who the Cowboys have played once the last two years. Dallas won its last three matchups against Seattle, but the Cowboys haven't played in Washington since losing in the playoffs in 2006.
They also haven't seen rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who provides a dual-threat ability that Eli Manning didn't possess. While analyzing what Wilson did in college, Garrett said the quarterback has "a really good feel for playing the game and the quarterback position."
"He certainly can throw the football," Garrett said. "He throws it from the pocket, he throws it on the move, but he also just flat out makes plays with his feet."
The Cowboys understand why Garrett preaches the necessity of moving on. Wilson's dynamic play, coupled with Marshawn Lynch's running ability and the ferocity of the "12th man" – as Seahawks fans are known – provide the type of atmosphere that could be lethal to visitors taking them lightly.
"We've got a really important deal coming up," said Kevin Ogletree. "Having this extra day today was very, very useful. You get in here, kick your legs out, get a lift and feel good about the preparation for this game."