Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys ready for measuring stick game against Seattle

The Cowboys’ 20-17 overtime victory against the Houston Texans when they didn’t play their best, gutting out a victory, speaks volumes about the growth of the team. And it adds hope for a meaningful season in 2014.

Sunday’s game was one the Cowboys might have lost last year.

It was arguably a trap game for the surging Cowboys, coming off the emotional high of last week’s win against New Orleans and before next Sunday’s trip to Seattle to face the defending Super Bowl champions.

The Cowboys were facing off against a motivated opponent, whose fan base traveled in droves up I-45 for what they dubbed their Super Bowl against their instate rivals.

The Cowboys’ ability to survive with a dirty win showed growth and could prove to be important step in the process.

“We have been through a lot here,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “We have been blown out. We have blown leads. We have lost leads. We have been thought it all. We would have lost this game last year. You have to learn how to win. You win ugly. You win pretty. You win whatever. You just win.”

It extended the Cowboys winning streak to four games and has them 4-1 for the first time since 2008, giving them some cushion for later in the season.

Owner Jerry Jones likes the cushion because the schedule gets tougher later on.

He’s already looking ahead to another measuring stick game, this one against Seattle (3-1).

“We’re a team that’s trying to really get our feet up under us,” Jones said. “We’re trying to build and it would have been a setback to lose the game today, for us, after having that big effort last week. The (Seattle game) is really an opportunity just as that Saints game was an opportunity. You go up there and if we could have a win and come out of Seattle when no one is expecting it, then that would be a real.”