New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was quick to point out that one of the challenges of preparing for the Dallas Cowboys is that, relatively speaking, the Patriots don’t know the Cowboys from Adam.
The Cowboys and Patriots have played just three times in the Belichick-Tom Brady era--once in 2003, once in 2007 and once in 2011. Because they rarely see each other, Belichick and the Pats don’t know the Cowboys the way they know every other team in their division and probably the AFC.
"A team we don't know very well here that we've got to do a lot of work on in the next few days and try to zero in,” Belichick said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I've been very impressed watching them. They've done a very good job putting the roster together, a lot of guys who weren't drafted or were drafted late that didn't have a real high profile or didn't come into the league with a real high profile in terms of draft status or things like that that are making a strong impact on the team. It's impressive.
“They've done a good job in their scouting department and personnel department, and I have a lot of respect for the coaching staff with obviously Jason [Garrett], Scott Linehan, Rod Marinelli. That's a really good group.”
So playing the Cowboys presents a challenge for Belichick, but it’s not exactly an insurmountable challenge: He and Brady are 3-0 in those games.