Cowboys hope to buck bye-week trend

IRVING, Texas -- NFL Nation reporter Jamison Hensley offered up an interesting stat when talking about the Baltimore Ravens returning from the bye week.

Through the first 11 weeks of the season, teams coming off the bye have posted a 10-16 record. Four current division leaders -- the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals -- not only lost after their byes, but lost by an average of 18.2 points.

In case you forgot, the Dallas Cowboys are coming off their bye and play the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

"I have to say that is a pretty big surprise," safety Barry Church said when told of teams' records after the bye this season.

What the bye week offers up in rest it might take away in game readiness.

"Just judging on how my body feels after the bye week, I feel like I can go out and play full speed," Church said. "But for teams to pretty much just lose after the bye week is pretty shocking. I can also see how it happens. They get kind of lazy or they get stuck in their ways and don't progress. They stay the same. I can see it both ways, but for me I think it should be the other case. You should be winning after the bye week."

The Cowboys are certainly healthier. The week off had to help the fractures in Tony Romo's back. Rolando McClain and Tyrone Crawford are expected to be available this week against the Giants. DeMarco Murray said he felt recharged with the time off.

With Jason Garrett as head coach, the Cowboys are 1-2 after the bye, winning last year ... at MetLife Stadium against the Giants. They are 6-4 in games after the bye since 2004.

"You've just got to over the break, at least kind of think about what has been going on up to that point and kind of have a self-evaluation about what you've done for the team lately," linebacker Bruce Carter said. "That's kind of where we are."

At 7-3, the Cowboys are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They are in second place in the NFC East but have two games remaining against the similarly 7-3 Eagles.

Zack Martin is only a rookie, but the right guard has a good feel for what is about to happen.

"We've talked a lot about that the most important games are in front of us," Martin said. "We're getting geared up to go up to New York and play a tough team up there. We know the season really starts now. We've put ourselves in position to do something, but really it's what you do from here that counts."