The Dallas Cowboys have been off since an embarrassing prime-time performance that prompted talk they could miss the playoffs for a third straight season.
In reality, they're just slightly off the pace in the NFC East, but the next month-long stretch could determine if they are, in fact, a contender.
The Cowboys open a difficult portion of the schedule Sunday against a Baltimore Ravens team that hasn't lost a regular-season home game in nearly two years.
Dallas (2-2) went into its bye week reeling after Tony Romo matched a career worst with five interceptions in a 34-18 home loss to Chicago on Oct. 1. Romo and receiver Dez Bryant seemed out of sync and the Bears returned two of the picks for touchdowns.
"This has to be a wakeup call for us," Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten said
The Cowboys, one of the league's lowest-scoring teams with an average of 16.3 points, return from their bye only one-half game back of Philadelphia and New York in the division.