They now know they can win without Dez Bryant and a host of other injured and absent starters.
What was an issue during last season's 4-12 campaign is no longer an issue now. The Cowboys are not using injuries as an excuse. They are not waiting for anyone to return. They are just winning with who they have, which has them with a 3-1 mark through four games.
Consider Sunday's 24-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. There was no quarterback Tony Romo. They were without three suspended defensive starters in ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory and middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
All of them have been sidelined since the beginning of the season. And now they were without four more starters in wide receivers Dez Bryant, guard La'el Collins, tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
Those missing players accounted for 40 percent of the team's salary cap, executive vice president Stephen Jones said.
Add in that the Cowboys were 1-11 without Romo during last year's 4-12 campaign and are 2-8 all time without Romo and Bryant on the field, and it's little wonder the elder Jones was happy in the locker room.
"I didn't expect it," owner Jerry Jones said. "I really didn't expect it. This a competitive league. I really didn't expect to do it without Dez, without our left tackle. Without key players like Scandrick. I really didn't expect that. It says a lot about our depth. It says a lot about (head coach) Jason (Garrett), our coaching. I'm really proud of those guys. We learned a lot last year. How to not do it, waiting on people to get back."
Most impressive to Jones was the way this group of replacements added to its own adversity by digging a 14-0 hole in the second quarter before a crowd of 70,178 at Levi's Stadium.
But there was no panic. Not on the sideline with Garrett and not with the players.
"Yeah, that's what this team's all about," Garrett said. "That's how we built this team. They fight through adversity. I thought that was evident today. A lot of different guys in the lineup for us. Backups playing. Nobody blinked. Nobody blinked when we were down 14 on the road. It was a hell of a team win for us."
"The mojo is good right now," tight end Jason Witten said. "Even when there's a lot of room to improve, you're down 14-0, and then to rally back. It says a lot about the character, it really does, and we've just got to keep moving forward."
Prescott continued to play with the poise of a veteran, completing 23 of 32 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 20-yard scoring pass to Terrance Williams and a 4-yarder to Brice Butler, as both filled in nicely for Bryant.
Prescott has not been intercepted in 131 passes through the first four games of the season. That's an NFL record for a rookie and it's the first time the Cowboys have ever done it as a team in franchise history.
"I think this just shows our character," Prescott said. "We had more guys go down last week and guys had to step in and get the job done. We got down 14-0. We didn't blink. This team has good chemistry. We want to do whatever it takes to win and it showed."
Romo is expected to miss four more games with the fractured bone in his back and return for the Oct. 30 game against the Philadelphia Eagles following the bye. If the Cowboys can somehow keep the streak going against the Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) and the Green Bay Packers (2-1) the next two weeks, the Cowboys might have a decision to make.
But rather than worry about an impending quarterback controversy whenever Romo returns, Jerry Jones talked about how nice it would be to have two good quarterbacks in the playoffs.
"We know we that we dream of having that kind of dilemma," Jones said. "I know that everyone associated with it prays that we have that kind of dilemma. I would love to have that problem."