Cowboys Not Taking Lions for Granted

Drew Bledsoe couldn't recall if he'd seen it before, but he wasn't surprised to see a blue mouse trap hanging in middle of the Cowboys' locker room this week.

Or the other mousetrap that featured a piece of cheese on it in a hallway.

"I remember one time there were a bunch of jets hanging in the locker room one time where we were playing the Jets that week," the Cowboys quarterback said of his previous stint under coach Bill Parcells with the Patriots.

Parcells' cheesy message was two-fold for his players, and probably designed for the media as well.

"The message is: He doesn't want us eating the cheese thrown our way," Bledsoe said. The other, "The way we've been winning, we're not in a position to be overconfident," tight end Jason Witten said.

Not even against the 4-5 Detroit Lions, whom the Cowboys will play on Sunday.

Parcells is renowned for placing physical reminders from time to time in front of his team. He once put an empty gas can in the locker stall of Jets linebacker Bryan Cox with a question, "Do you have any left in the tank?"

Parcells was coy when asked about the theatrics.

"It means there might be mice in the building," Parcells said. "That's where they go ... in the ceiling. You never had a house on the East Coast? That's where they go. Maybe it just dropped out from up there. ... There are a lot of vehicles to teach with. They don't all have to be words and pictures."

The message got through loud and clear to a Cowboys team that has had seven of nine games decided by a touchdown or less.

The Cowboys are 4-3 in those contests. And considering the way they played for the better part of three quarters against the Eagles on Monday before rallying to victory in the final three minutes, the Cowboys easily could be sitting here with a different record. Parcells said they don't have the right to take anyone for granted.

"I'm not giving the guys a hard time about it. They know what the deal is," Parcells said. "They know they didn't play particularly well. They know they have to play better than we played the other night. That's not what this game is about - giving the guys material. Get them ready to play. That's what I got to do. We got to do a better job than that as coaches."

SERIES HISTORY: 20th meeting. The Cowboys lead the series 10-9. The Cowboys have won the last two meetings, including a 31-21 victory in Dallas last season.

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