They will, however, be doing just that when they meet at Texas Stadium.
New York and Washington are both 3-1 while Dallas and Philadelphia are at 3-2, making the East the only division in the NFL in which every team is above .500.
The Cowboys and Eagles may have the same record, but Dallas thoroughly dismantled Philadelphia 33-10 last Sunday.
The Cowboys gave up 129 total yards, the fewest they’ve allowed since Sept. 8, 1996, to an Eagles team that came in averaging a league-best 432 yards per game. Dallas held Philadelphia to six first downs, one shy of a franchise record, and the 19 rushing yards by the Eagles was the fourth-lowest total ever against the Cowboys and the fewest since 1967.
“To do it decisively like that says a lot about our ballclub,” defensive tackle La’Roi Glover said. “It was a bit of proving it to ourselves and to a lot of different people that if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we can hang with a lot of teams in the NFL.”
Drew Bledsoe led two early touchdown drives and Dallas scored on six of its first seven possessions. He became the eighth player in NFL history to reach 41,000 yards passing, finishing 24-of-35 for 289 yards and three touchdowns.
“A win like this shows what we can be when we get out of our own way,” said Bledsoe.
The Cowboys defense will be getting another test this Sunday against Eli Manning and the Giants, who were idle last weekend.
Manning, who finished with six touchdowns against nine interceptions in his rookie season last year, has tossed nine TDs and been picked off only twice while leading the NFL’s highest-scoring offense.
The Giants are averaging 34 points per contest, topping 40 in victories over Arizona and St. Louis, and their 136 points are the team’s most through four games since 1968.
Manning had 296 yards passing and four touchdowns in a 44-24 victory over the Rams on Oct. 2.
“He has the composure of some of the great ones I’ve coached,” said Giants quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride, who has mentored the likes of Warren Moon, Mark Brunell and Bledsoe over 16 years in the NFL.
Manning’s passer rating of 97.8 is fourth-highest in the league, five spots ahead of brother Peyton and three better than New England’s Tom Brady.
His burgeoning confidence has allowed New York to lengthen its passing attack and Manning has 15 completions of 20 yards or more, compared to nine last season.
The Giants hope that confidence can help them improve on a 3-13 record following a bye.
“He’s kind of got a little quiet ‘Eli swagger’ about him,” said wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who has become Manning’s favorite target. “You can actually sense that he’s being more vocal and he understands that it’s his team.”
Dallas coach Bill Parcells is still uncertain who will be starting behind Bledsoe.
Leading rusher Julius Jones remains questionable for Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle. He had to sit out the second half last week after rushing for 72 yards in two quarters, and was clearly frustrated to be on the sideline.
“You’re not going to know until Sunday no matter who you ask, because no one knows, because the answer isn’t there,” Parcells said. “No one knows. I don’t know which one it’s going to be.”