FRISCO, Texas – Here we are again. The Cowboys are riding high after a big win over a New York team and they hit the road against one of the worst teams in the league.
The question begs: Have the Cowboys learned from their Week 3 debacle in Arizona?
We're about to find out as the Cowboys head to Carolina for Sunday's game against the 1-8 Panthers. Dallas is favored by more than 10 points, just like they were back in Week 3 against the Cardinals, who were 0-2 on the season.
But Arizona figured out a way to beat the Cowboys 28-16, one of the biggest upsets in the NFL this year.
But on Thursday, linebacker Micah Parsons said the Cowboys should've learned their lesson in preparing for an opponent, regardless of their record.
"We already made that mistake once, we can't make it twice," Parsons said. "I think during that time, there was a lot of adversity that the team was facing, things like that. We were missing half of our O-line. We're way more healthy, way more locked in. It's November-December football, we can't have those kind of mishaps happen. We got to go out there and win."
Parsons referenced the injuries before the Cardinals game, which included Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Tyler Biadasz all missing on the offensive line. It was also the week Trevon Diggs suffered a season-ending injury in practice.
The difference this week is the Cowboys have nearly their entire roster healthy. Only Tyron Smith did not practice on Thursday and it was for rest purposes. Smith is expected to play and start this week in Carolina.
As for Parsons on a personal note, the linebacker appeared to be frustrated after the win against the Giants last week when he did register a tackle or sack, but did have quarterback pressures. Parsons didn't speak to the media and had a couple of social media posts that hinted at his frustration. But he spoke to that on Thursday when asked how he balances the concept of a team-win with his competitive nature.
"I always say, I got next week," Parsons said. "I get a great opportunity. I think that was one of three games where I didn't have a sack. I think the production is there. My presence is felt. You look at what I'm — it's getting to the point where these QBs are taking one read and running outside of the pocket, scared for their lives so I don't think it's anything about production-wise. I just think we're just doing a phenomenal job. (Dan Quinn) is giving me a phenomenal job, finding ways to get 1-on-1s and things like that. I guess time will tell when we play better teams."