Landon Donovan and Dwayne DeRosario took care of the offense for the Earthquakes, who started strongly and generated a scoring chance just three minutes into the contest.
Midfielder Ronnie Ekelund chipped a ball over the Dallas back line, finding a streaking DeRosario. From a tight angle, the Canadian international shot from 10 yards out, but goalkeeper Matt Jordan parried it away.
San Jose capped their early dominance, during which they pinned Dallas in their own half for long stretches, with a goal in the 11th minute. A corner kick was whipped into the box by specialist Richard Mulrooney and defender Ramiro Corrales sent a header on goal.
Jordan made the stop, but the rebound fell to an open DeRosario, who sent a one-time shot into the top left corner of the net from 15 yards. It was the sixth MLS goal for DeRosario, who also scored in last season's opener against Los Angeles.
Dallas thought it got the tying goal in the 30th minute when a ball was sent in to captain Jason Kreis. He served it toward the center of the six-yard box, from where where Cerritos seemingly netted the equalizer. But Cerritos was ruled offsides on the pass to Kreis.
After the break, San Jose killed any momentum the Burn had with a goal created by the hustle of midfielder Ian Russell. The speedy flank player did not give up on a ball that Burn defender Paul Broome was shielding, expecting it to bounce over the end line.
Russell picked his pocket and entered the box on the right side, finding Donovan at the penalty spot. The U.S. National team star easily hit the top right corner of the net for his eighth career MLS goal.