Patriots Make Statement

To borrow a line from Dennis Green, the Patriots are who everybody thought they were.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, still have some things to prove. The duel in Dallas between two undefeated teams was simply no contest as the Patriots ran away with a 48-27 victory.

The Cowboys are still considered Super Bowl contenders from the NFC, but they hoped to let world know the glory days were back. A victory against Patriots would have also legitimized their Super Bowl title aspirations. Right now, however, the AFC remains the best conference with the two best teams in the Patriots and the undefeated defending Super Bowl champion Colts.

"They are that good," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "We wanted to be one of the elite teams. Obviously, we're not. We got a lot of work to do. I think it's a wake up call for us."

The Cowboys, who were looking to go 6-0 for the first time since 1983, are tied with the Packers with 5-1 records in the NFC. They remain a game and half ahead of the Redskins (3-2) and Giants (3-2) in the NFC East.

"Hopefully we'll see them down the road," receiver Terrell Owens said. "We just got to regroup. There's no confidence lost in the locker room."

"They are a good football team," said quarterback Tony Romo. "We are 5-1. That's a pretty darn good football team. We didn't win today. But there have been plenty cases over course time where a team didn't win every game and still came out pretty good."

The Cowboys will try to get back on the winning track against the Vikings next Sunday. Although Minnesota is 2-3, the task won't be easy with rookie running back Adrian Peterson emerging as a star. He rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears in Week 6.

The Cowboys will begin the task of rebounding from the Patriots loss by focusing on themselves. They committed 12 penalties for 98 yards in the game. They also need to improve their third-down defense.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passed for franchise record-tying five touchdowns. He was especially lethal on third down -- converting six of his first seven and 11 of 17.

"They killed us on third down the whole game," Phillips said. "We tried about everything we could do, almost every coverage and blitz. They seemed to have the right answer and that's certainly their quarterback. He does a great job distributing the ball."

PLAYER NOTES
--WR Patrick Crayton caught his fourth touchdown of the season against the Patriots, tying his single-season career-high established in 2006.

--LB Greg Ellis picked up his second sack of the season on a second-quarter takedown of Tom Brady. Ellis also forced a fumble on the play which was recovered by Jason Hatcher, who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.

--DE Jason Hatcher recorded his first career touchdown against the Patriots on a 27-yard fumble return in the second quarter. It was the first fumble recovery for a touchdown since DeMarcus Ware returned a fumble 69 yards for a touchdown at Philadelphia (10/8/06).

--WR Terrell Owens (828) finished with six catches against the Patriots, allowing him to move past Larry Centers (827) for 12th place on the NFL's all-time receptions chart.

--LB DeMarcus Ware has now recorded a sack in three consecutive games, tying the longest streak of his career. He had a streak of four games with a sack two previous times -- Weeks Three-Six (2005) and Weeks 13-16 (2006).

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