Are the Cowboys underrated?

Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus writes that maybe the Cowboys are not as respected as they should be despite the Week 1 victory over the New York Giants last week.

Writes Elsayed:

This wasn't the same Dallas defense we saw a year ago. They were comfortable in Rob Ryan's scheme, and now have the personnel to play it. Nowhere was that more apparent than at cornerback, where both starters bumped and banged the Giants' receivers at the line of scrimmage.

In a stunning performance, the Cowboys beat the New York Giants on the road to start the season. The Giants unveiled their Super Bowl signs and presented the Vince Lombardi Trophy at midfield in a ceremony led by former Giants Phil Simms and Michael Strahan.

The Cowboys didn't care.

They came out and held the Giants to fewer than 300 yards of total offense and sacked quarterback Eli Manning three times. Sean Lee forced a first-half fumble and Tyron Smith's horse collar tackle prevented a touchdown and set up a goal-line stand inside the 5 by the Cowboys' defense.

Jerry Jones called the win significant for the franchise. And while there are 15 games remaining, it probably set the tone for the 2012 season.

Tight end Jason Witten (lacerated spleen) played in the game after getting cleared by doctors the night before.

The Cowboys played without nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) and Mike Jenkins (shoulder).

Here's the story from Elsayed. You have to be an ESPN Insider to check it out.