NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans (1-0) play their home opener this week against the Dallas Cowboys (0-1). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the LP PENCIL Box School Supply Drive at the game. LP PENCIL Box, a collaborative non-profit venture between PENCIL Foundation and LP Building Products, offers Nashville Metro teachers the opportunity to acquire school supplies for the city's most in-need children. Collection locations will be positioned outside of LP Field to collect items from erasers and pencil boxes to hand sanitizers, colored pencils, pens and rulers. This is a makeup day for the original drive, which was rained out at the Aug. 9 preseason contest.
This week's game will be televised regionally on FOX, including Nashville affiliate WZTV FOX 17. Joe Buck will handle play-by-play duties, and Troy Aikman will serve as analyst. Erin Andrews will report from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
The Titans kicked off the 2014 campaign last week with a successful trip to Kansas City. Jake Locker passed for a pair of touchdowns, and Ryan Succop was perfect on four field goal attempts in the 26-10 win. The team celebrated its 400th all-time victory in the regular season.
Locker was 22-of-33 passing for 266 yards with touchdown tosses to tight end Delanie Walker and wide receiver Kendall Wright. The fourth-year signal caller finished the game with a passer rating of 111.4, the third-highest rating in his 19 career starts.
Locker and the Titans offense did not commit a turnover, while the defense forced three interceptions, including two by cornerback Jason McCourty. The defense also notched four sacks and limited the Chiefs to one third-down conversion on 12 attempts.
It was the first game for the Titans under the leadership of Ken Whisenhunt, who was named the 17th head coach in franchise history and the third in the "Titans era" on Jan. 13. Whisenhunt, who spent seven seasons as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals (2007–2012), improved his record as a head coach to 5-2 on Kickoff Weekend.
Against the Cowboys, the Titans will attempt to go 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2008. The team is 9-6 in regular-season home openers at LP Field, which was christened in 1999.
*THE COWBOYS *
The Cowboys are in their fourth full season with head coach Jason Garrett at the helm. A Princeton product and NFL quarterback for more than a decade (1992–2004), Garrett ascended to his current rank after being hired as the Cowboys offensive coordinator in 2007, and he added the title of assistant head coach in 2008. He was the interim head coach for the final eight games of 2010.
In 2013, Garrett guided the Cowboys to an 8-8 record and put his club in position to play for the NFC East title in the last game of the regular season for the third consecutive year. Five of the team's eight losses in 2013 came by a combined total of eight points as the Cowboys finished in second place in their division.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has flourished under Garrett's leadership. In 2013, Romo narrowly missed his fifth career 4,000-yard passing season (3,828). Currently in his 12th NFL campaign, Romo owns the Cowboys records for career 300-yard games (44), 100-plus rating games (55), career touchdowns (209). He ranks second in club history in attempts, completions and passing yards.
Last week the Cowboys opened their season at home against the San Francisco 49ers. Four total turnovers by the Cowboys—all in the first half—were too much to overcome despite 281 passing yards by Romo and 118 rushing yards by DeMarco Murray. Ultimately, the 49ers prevailed 28-17.