Cowboys' Confidence Unfazed

The Dallas Cowboys fell hard to the New England Patriots, but the confidence of at least one of their players didn't take a hit. Instead, they are looking to take out frustrations on the Vikings.

The Cowboys are still smarting from a 48-27 blowout loss to the Patriots. It was their first loss of the season.

And at least for now, it showed that they have a ways to go to reach the Patriots' level as the league's elite team. But the Cowboys did not suffer a loss of confidence.

Many players and coaches said they would like a rematch against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Considering the Cowboys (5-1) are tied with the Packers for the best record in the NFC, that remains a possibility.

Receiver Patrick Crayton, in fact, has no doubts that the Cowboys will be in Glendale, Ariz., for Super Bowl XLII in February.

His only concern about a rematch is whether the Patriots will be there.

"If they make it to Arizona, we will see them again," Crayton said. "Seriously, I'm not backing down from that statement. If they make it to Arizona, we will see them again."

Crayton didn't stop there.

He showed little respect for the Patriots defense, saying the Cowboys stopped themselves on offense more so than the Patriots defense stopped them.

"Offensively, they are the real deal," Crayton said. "I'm not going to lie about that. Defensively, I can tell you no. They're not. They're not (that good) at all. The only time they stopped us is when we had penalties. If that's stopping us, it is what it is. Defensively, they are not the real deal."

More importantly, Crayton said the Cowboys are angry about the loss and will take their frustrations out on the Vikings Sunday at Texas Stadium.

It's important for the Cowboys to get back on the winning track and not head into next week's bye with two straight losses.


  • The Cowboys may not be the league's best but they are back to being the best television draw. The Cowboys-Patriots game was the highest-rated regular-season game on CBS since the network reacquired NFL rights in 1998.

    This is a season-long theme. So far, the Cowboys have played in the highest-rated game on CBS, NBC and ESPN.

  • The Cowboys tied for their season high with 12 penalties for 98 yards against the Patriots. Combine that with their inability to get off the field on third down — the Patriots converted nine of their first 11 and 11 of 17 in the game — and those were the stories of the game.

    The turning point came on a crucial holding call on fourth-and-one early in the fourth quarter. Down 31-24, the Cowboys faced a fourth-and-one at their own 47. A first-down run by Marion Barber was nullified by a holding call on guard Kyle Kosier. The Cowboys never threatened again.

    "Those penalties, along with the third downs, were the difference in the game or at least us having a fighting chance," coach Wade Phillips said.

  • QB Tony Romo suffered a shoulder strain against the Patriots. It was his non-throwing left shoulder. He had it wrapped following the game but he said he would be fine. He reiterated those comments on Monday, saying there is nothing wrong with his shoulder.

  • WR Terry Glenn was on the sideline for the loss to the Patriots. Glenn is recovering from two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee. He said he hopes to return this season but he is not giving himself a timetable.

  • CB Anthony Henry would have loved to have been on the field helping his beleaguered secondary mates in the blowout loss to the Patriots. But Henry is still nursing a high-ankle sprain. He is not going to rush his return. The league's leading interceptor might wait until after the Cowboys' bye and return for the Eagles game Nov. 4.

  • RB Marion Barber earned praise from Patriots coach Bill Belichick after the game on Sunday. Barber rushed for 47 yards on eight carries, including many bruising runs in which he bulldozed Patriots defenders. On one play, he broke at least five tackles to avoid a safety. Barber didn't remember what Belichick told him when he walked up to him after the game but said, "It was something good."

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