'Boys face early must-win

After starting 0-2 last year en route to a 1-7 record at the midpoint and a 6-10 finish, the Cowboys know they need to bounce back from their season-opening loss to the Jets with a win against the 49ers on Sunday.

While it's a new year, old feelings die hard and the Cowboys don't need to get caught up in a "here we go again" mentality.

"We, as I said, had a chance to get a prize in New York (against the Jets)," owner Jerry Jones said. "We want to get by that and get it off and I'm probably the last one to get by it, but we have got to get it off our minds. Consequently we all know that based on what happened last year, we need to get a better start to be trite. That means we have to win a game, so it's important."

Said quarterback Tony Romo: "It's important. The story right now is obviously about the way the game finished last week. As we move on into the season, that will change, and it's up to us to go out and make a different story, and we're going to do that. This week, we're ready to go."

—The Cowboys have spent the week throwing all their support behind quarterback Tony Romo who fell on the sword for Sunday's loss to Jets.

Romo has received local and national criticism in Lebron-like fashion ever since.

When Romo finally got a chance to talk for first time since his fumble and interception in the final 10 minutes cost the Cowboys a chance at victory in the season opener, he vowed to learn from mistakes and not let them happen again.

To that end, Romo said he can't wait to get back on the field Sunday against the 49ers.

"I can't get back on the field fast enough," Romo said. "You need to come back from it and play really good football going forward for an extended period of time. That's the only way to make up for it."

The problem with Romo promising to make up for it is his history of past failures in the clutch, namely the fumble against the Seattle in the 2006 playoffs and the interception against the Giants in the 2007 playoffs.

While he is 39-23 as a starter since taking over in 2006, he is 1-3 in the postseason.

"You're going to be defined by those things until you succeed, until you win a championship, until you go out there and perform on that level," he said. "I understand that. That's part of playing this position, part of being the quarterback for a football team in the NFL. I accept that and I know that, and that's why I work as hard as I can and that's why going forward that it will be different than it was last Sunday."

The Cowboys as a team have been very supportive of their quarterback. They say they still have faith in him in the clutch and they are not worried about him bouncing back from last week's misfortune.

"Clearly, Tony has demonstrated the ability and the performance level for us to trust him. He is an awfully good football player," coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. "He understands that you have some successes or you have some things that don't go your way. You have to strap it up and go the next week. He has done a very good job of that throughout his career. He is somebody we trust a great deal."

Romo said he has no problem with the criticism that has come his way. He said he has heard it all before and understands that it comes along with the position.

He says he can handle it and will not cower in the moment. He's ready to face it head on.

"Anyone who thinks that I'm going to fold up the tent around here or this team is, they don't know us very well, and this team is going to come back with great energy this week," Romo said. "I'm going to come back with great energy and we're going to play good football going forward, and I'm excited about the 49er game, and I just can't wait to get out on the field this week."

SERIES HISTORY: 26th regular-season meeting. 49ers lead series, 14-10-1. Dallas won the last meeting 35-22 in 2008. Dallas has won the last two meetings and three of the last four.

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