The fans and the media can call the Dallas Cowboys' Week 6 tilt with the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium a tune-up game, but center Travis Frederick isn't taking the challenge lightly.
At his "Steak-Out Hunger" event at the Omni Frisco Monday, a day after the Cowboys' 34-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Frederick indicated overlooking any NFL team, no matter their record, is a flawed approach.
"It's tremendously faulty," Frederick said. "The parity in the league is unbelievable and it's crazy to overlook any team at any point."
The Jets are in an unenviable position at 0-4. They have had the services of starting quarterback Sam Darnold for Week 1 only as he has battled back from mononucleosis. Furthermore, backup Luke Falk has been abysmal in his place with three interceptions chucked with zero touchdowns.
Of course, Falk was the third-string quarterback who had to fill in for, not only Darnold, but intended backup Trevor Siemian, who was lost for the season in the Jets' Week 2 match-up with the Cleveland Browns.
The Jets are a case of a team with a bad record; Frederick isn't buying that they are a bad team after five weeks into the season.
"Really every person on that field is a professional football player, the best at what they do in the world, and that you still have to go out and play your best game if you're going to win on any given Sunday," said Frederick.
One element that could compromise the Cowboys and bring their talent level down to that of the Jets is if starting offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins aren't able to go. Smith, the left tackle, has been battling an ankle injury since he was knocked out on the last drive of Week 4 at New Orleans, and Collins left the Week 5 game versus Green Bay with a knee injury.
If Cam Fleming and Brandon Knight once more have to fill in for Smith and Collins respectively, Frederick believes in the depth on the offensive line.
Said Frederick: "Cam's done a tremendous job for the last couple of years being able to play both positions and getting in and performing in times of need. And Brandon, that's unbelievable what he did out there [in Week 5]. Just the fact that he was, you know, the situation he was in to get onto the team, and then wait for him to come off the bench cold and step in there and be successful. That's really impressive."
Frederick and the Cowboys are anxious to get back to the field and wash away the sour taste their two-game losing streak has left them. After a 12-10 loss to the Saints and their loss to the Packers that saw them down as far as 31-3 in the third quarter with their subsequent 21 points attributed to garbage time contributions, Dallas looks to get back on track, even if it is against competition the fans, media, and power rankings won't hold in as high regard.
"Obviously we had some mistakes and those things that we need to clean up," Frederick said. "But when you look at the team and see that level of care, and that level of fight for each other and for the team, you know you got something special."
Do you think that Travis Frederick and the Cowboys will be able to snag a win against the Jets in New York on Sunday? Share your thoughts on Week 6 with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.