FRISCO, TX — It's one thing to have a Mamba Mentality, but it feels like the Dallas Cowboys are as much of a boa constrictor as they are a pit of vipers, given how they've gotten out to a big lead against their first two victims and squeezed the life out of them all the way to the conclusion of the meeting; and that's a culture DeMarcus Lawrence has helped create.
He and Micah Parsons have been two of the loudest voices in the locker room this offseason in that regard, as has others like Jayron Kearse (and several other veteran leaders), all under the masterful orchestration and motivation of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
As they prepare to face an Arizona Cardinals team led by Joshua Dobbs, now 0-2 after showing what the antithesis of Mamba Mentality looks like in their historic collapse last week against the New York Giants, Lawrence isn't interested in hearing about it being a trap game.
"Be who we are," he said. "Come back to the lab each and every day and work on our fundamentals. I feel like, times like this, when you're 2-0 and you've got the hype around the team and things can get out of whack. People can let that self-confidence lead them into some things they don't need to be in.
"We just need to make sure we maintain our focus on the Cardinals this week, and do what we do."
Having now shut out the very same Daniel Jones that mounted the comeback in Arizona, and holding one of the most explosive running back tandems in the league (Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook) to a combined 16 rushing yards and a forced fumble (and recovery, both by Parsons), it's incumbent the Cowboys continue their trend of not letting up — ever.
Dobbs presents the third consecutive mobile QB challenge for Dallas, and they're embracing it.
"[It doesn't] matter who's back there," said Lawrence. "We're gonna hunt. … I feel like, every week, we'll be facing a running quarterback. … If you're not a running quarterback, you're gonna wanna make sure your legs work that week."
Lawrence set the tone on the Jets' first play from scrimmage in Week 2, lining up on the strong side (he's built his career on the weak (left) side) before decimating Hall for a four-yard tackle for loss; and Gang Green eventually succumbed to an infection of their own.
Lawrence, Parsons, Osa Odighizuwa (off to a blistering pace himself) and the entire defense left them for dead at AT&T Stadium, but it started with the Pro Bowl edge rusher reminding everyone he's also one of the best in the entire NFL at stopping the run.
"That's the standard of my game," Lawrence said. "I set that standard a long time ago. If I'm on the field, you know D-Law is gonna set the edge against the run and gonna make tackles for a loss. It's now all about getting that ball.
"… I feel like I'm playing [well]. It really doesn't even feel like [it's been] 10 years. I'm blessed and just getting after it. I feel like we have the team to do the necessary things that we want to do, and we've got the formula for winning down-pat."
Having defeated their first two opponents to the tune of 70-10 with 10 sacks and another league-high tally of takeaways, with no giveaways by Dallas' offense, indicates they do.
At the end of the day, the key is to never believe the job is done until it's actually done, and not just over the course of four quarters of football on any given week. It also means over the course of 20, or 21, games this season. Without the former, there is no latter. And without the latter, the former has no value.
It appears, more and more, that this year's version of the Cowboys has no interest in hunting prey only to let the carcass rot in the sun or, worse, to allow others to enjoy the meat while Dallas continues to starve for a 28th year.
They truly want to seize everything.
"We've just got to stay on it," said Lawrence.
Have you ever seen what a boa constrictor can do to a cardinal?
You might find out on Sunday.