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Patriots turn their focus to the Dallas Cowboys

Posted by Monique Walker, Globe Staff  October 11, 2011 12:32 PM

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The Patriots are 4-1 heading into this week's game against the Dallas Cowboys (2-2) and are preparing for a bunch that will be a rested group coming off of a bye week.

The Cowboys will have a few players back from injuries and will have had a few extra days to prepare for the Patriots, which can create an even tougher challenge for the Patriots, Bill Belichick said.

During today's conference calls, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said he doesn't expect to get much sleep as they prepare for back-to-back weeks against a Ryan-coached defense. This week it will be defensive coordinator Rob Ryan leading the Cowboys.

Offensively, Belichick called Cowboys TE Jason Witten one of the best tight ends in the game. Witten has 27 catches for 366 yards and one touchdown this season. WItten, who is 6-6 and 295 pounds, is in his ninth season and can present a few challenges for a defense.

"He’s outstanding," Belichick said. "He’s really a guy you have to be aware of all the time. I think the big thing that separates Witten from a lot of tight ends is his blocking ability. ... He's a hard guy to tackle. ... He's a guy that can pick up the tough yardage over the middle. ... He's one of the best tight ends in the league, no question about it."

More to come ...

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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