Do the Cowboys play each game at the caliber level of the opponent? It seems to me that they play hard when they need to but also look sloppy against lower caliber teams.
Nick: I've always said that as well. Maybe that's just the nature of sports. The Eagles seem to do the same. They barely beat Cleveland but then beat the Giants, too. So it's probably something that happens around the league. I do think teams raise the level of play in big games and it's only natural to go the other way. But yes, I think it's fair to suggest the Cowboys play up or down to the level of their competition.
Rowan: It does seem that way when they win by five against Carolina and keep games against the Falcons and Ravens within a touchdown. I think that's the nature and parity of this league. Very few teams exist that opponents will run over week after week. It seems tight matchups most weeks will be par for the course for a Cowboys team that's been ranked among the middle of the pack for years now.
Is it a coincidence that this defense has been playing phenomenal with Bruce Carter calling the plays?
Nick: Well, I wouldn't call it phenomenal. They've played well at times. Don't be fooled by Atlanta missing two field goals and that could've been a lot worse. But yes, I think this team misses Sean Lee.
Rowan: No question Carter's turning into a formidable force in the middle. But the guy they had calling plays before him was turning into one of the best in the NFL. This defense will always be better off with Carter and both Sean Lee in the middle. This year's team should get better as Carter gets accustomed to his new role.