Week 3 couldn’t have been more painful for the Dallas Cowboys defense after they surrendered 222 rushing yards, 180 in the first half, in a stunning 28-16 upset defeat at the Arizona Cardinals. Their Week 4 performance back home at AT&T Stadium wiped the stain of that disappointment off with a dominant, defensive downpour against the New England Patriots in a 38-3 victory, the most lopsided loss of Bill Belichick’s career as an NFL head coach. Dallas’ energy returned on defense as it forced three takeaways, two of which went for touchdowns. As far as takeaways go for the Dallas defense, when it rains it pours.
“It’s all about the bounce back,” Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons said postgame on Sunday. “When things hit you in the face, it’s about adversity and coming back from it. That’s what true champions are better at. Anyone can come in and win games, but once you face adversity and look in a man’s eyes and say ‘we’re going to get better.’ … adversity makes true champions.”
That collective buy-in for the Cowboys entire unit to be willing to grind and not blame any specific individual for the Week 3 letdown is why they were able to come back and look like their assertive selves in Week 4, according to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
“Yesterday [on Sunday], that was us,” Quinn said on Monday. “The energy, the hitting, the ball-hawking, flying around and creating that speed. That is us. That felt more like our style and attitude. That felt really cool to see. I said to you last week this is a group of warriors that I am certain will respond in the best way, and I saw that in a lot of instances and a lot of areas. One thing I respect about them is there was never time to point a finger at anybody else. We were all upset, myself included, but it was with ourselves, not one another. That part we took very seriously, and I was certain we were going to have a better performance.