Andy Reid remembers the first time he took a team into Arrowhead Stadium, back when he was the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He could barely hear his own voice.
On Sunday, Reid gets to be the beneficiary of all that noise.
Reid will be making his home debut with the Kansas City Chiefs when they take on the Dallas Cowboys in a rare rivalry that dates to the days of the AFL and NFL. The Chiefs are expecting a crowd approaching record numbers to see Reid on their side for the first time.
"Listen, I've been on the other end of that. I've experienced that part of it and I'm excited to experience this part of it," Reid said. "I'd rather be on this end than the other end."
The franchises have been rivals since the 1960s, when the Chiefs were known as the Texans and both called Dallas home. Once the late Lamar Hunt moved his team to Kansas City and renamed it the Chiefs, the franchises found themselves in different conferences and played sporadically.
The Cowboys have won six of the nine meetings since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, including the last two — though they haven't played since the Cowboys' overtime win on Oct. 11, 2009.
"But we certainly have some familiarity with Andy Reid," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who faced him several times in the NFC East. "You certainly see a lot of the same things we saw in Philly but you also see a lot of different things.
"That's why he's such a great coach," Garrett said. "He understands the systems he wants to use but he also understands how to use the people he has within those systems."
There are a whole lot of new people within his system, starting with Alex Smith, who will also be making his home debut with the Chiefs. The veteran quarterback proved to be the consummate game manager in Week 1, throwing a pair of touchdown passes without an interception.
He'll be facing a Cowboys defense that generated six turnovers in a win over the Giants.
"Ball security is always emphasized and every team talks about it, but it's about how you play," Smith said. "Weeks like this, you can see how much we do emphasize it."
Ball security will be one key to victory Sunday. Here are five more:
PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK: The Cowboys' Tony Romo took a shot to the ribs that knocked him out for the final play of the first half against the Giants. Now he has to deal with a Chiefs defense that racked up six sacks against the Jaguars. "When one guy makes a play, the next guy wants to make a play," said Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, who had three of them. "We strive for that."
CHARLES IN CHARGE: Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles bruised his quad last Sunday and was bothered by it in practice this week. The Chiefs struggled without him in Jacksonville, but he's expected to play against the Cowboys. "It's an injury," Charles said. "They come with the game."
PISTOLS UP: The Cowboys and Chiefs have experimented with the Pistol offense during the preseason, and both could implement it Sunday. "It'll give us a little bit of a balance as far as some of the stuff we're looking to do," Romo said. "We think we can gain some advantages with it."
STARS TO SHINE: Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had four catches for 30 yards last week, while Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had four catches for 22 yards. Will either star shine in Week 2? "He got a lot of attention," Garrett said of his top threat in the passing game. "That's the world he's going to live in for the rest of his career."
FAMILIAR FACES: Plenty of former Chiefs will be returning to Arrowhead Stadium, including Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr and backup QB Kyle Orton. Then there's offensive guard Brian Waters, who recently signed with the Cowboys and could play for the first time in two years. He went to five of his six Pro Bowls as a member of the Chiefs. "I have a great amount of love and affection for Arrowhead," he said, "but this is definitely not about Brian Waters."
Online: AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org