Hey Justin -
I may not understand your question, but you should be able to specify the tab (worksheet or dashboard) to navigate to via the URL you use to embed.
http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/Book2_673/Sheet1 // navs to a basic sheet "Sheet1" tab
http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/Book2_673/Dashboard1 // navs to a dashboard which contains the basic sheet
Let me know if I don't "get" what you're trying to do.
Thanks for the help. Your reply got me exactly where I needed to be.