IRVING, Texas – The first time the Cowboys play a nationally televised game this season, they looked utterly uninspiring in a 28-17 loss to San Francisco.
With their second national game of the season looming on Sunday, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones doesn't think his team should be written off as quickly as many would think.
"I think we've shown some things that would cause you to hold up in discounting us," Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. "That's an awkward way of saying we should be looked at out the corner of people's eye."
The Cowboys are riding their first winning streak of the season after downing Tennessee and St. Louis in consecutive road games. They didn't enjoy a three-game winning streak once in 2013, but a primetime win against the Saints – one of the NFC's best teams over the past few years – could certainly serve as a statement win.
"We've got it to do, though, and we need to put it together with having the right people on the field as it relates to injury – and that's happening for us," he said.
Jones' optimism about his team's health was backed up by what took place at practice on Friday. Several of the Cowboys' biggest injury concerns – namely Rolando McClain and Henry Melton – practiced after missing the entire week. Melton fought through a hamstring injury against the Rams, while McClain appears to be on the mend from the groin injury that kept him out last weekend.
That doesn't factor in the possible return of one of the Cowboys' two defensive Pro Bowlers against the Saints.
"We could have Melton out there this weekend, we could have McClain out there this weekend," Jones said. "We could have Crawford moving over as the No. 3 tackle, and then moving out to end. Why? Because Anthony Spencer is going to be out there taking some snaps – now that's serious stuff."
On top of that, the Cowboys could be adding Justin Durant and Terrell McClain back into the lineup. Durant missed two games with a groin injury of his own, while McClain just recently passed protocol following a concussion in St. Louis.
"All of a sudden we've got four or five players out there that are arguably are some of, if not the best defensive players that we haven't had the last two or three games. That's a big deal," Jones said.
The Cowboys will have another opportunity to showcase their skills to a national audience – the first of at least five primetime kickoffs this season. They'll no doubt be hoping to make a better impression than they did in Week 1, not to mention earning some league-wide respect.
"Yes, we need to be kind of glanced at over here," he said.