Parcells' wrath on the way? Players don't expect to see coach's soft side after this loss By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News IRVING – Bill Parcells can be the ultimate contrarian. The Cowboys can win five consecutive games, as they did in 2003, and Parcells will sarcastically remind anyone and everyone that trophies aren't handed out in October. And then they will lose a game, and the softer side of Parcells will come out. Parcells does not disagree with the perception. "But this could be the exception," he said. What Parcells is referring to is the 35-17 loss Sunday to Minnesota. A Dallas defense that finished last season as the NFL's best was lit up for 415 yards, 23 first downs and 7.7 yards per play. The offense, even though it racked up 423 yards, scored only one touchdown in four trips inside the Minnesota 20 and committed too many penalties. "As Coach Parcells has said, there's winning and there's misery," quarterback Vinny Testaverde said in the visiting locker room Sunday. Parcells could not hide his disappointment Monday with what happened Sunday. Sometimes the next-day videotape isn't as bad as it appeared. That wasn't the case here. "Listen, there were some offensive problems too, but I'm hard-pressed to find one guy who played up to his potential on defense," Parcells said. "Not one." How does Parcells deal with the misery this year? The Cowboys lost the 2003 season opener at home to Atlanta, 27-13. Billy Cundiff missed a 33-yard field goal and a point-after attempt was blocked. The assumption was that the grumpy Parcells would cut Cundiff. Cundiff remained, and the next week he tied an NFL record with seven field goals, including the tying and winning kicks, against the New York Giants. Parcells, however, still pushed Cundiff's buttons by bringing a kicker in for a workout as the players were leaving the field after a practice. "You look at last year and it was a pretty young team, a team that had gone 5-11 three years in a row," tight end Dan Campbell said. "I don't know necessarily what it will be like now, but this is a little different team." Last year's Cowboys did not have high expectations. They weren't supposed to make the playoffs in Parcells' first year. This year's Cowboys have higher expectations. Parcells' teams in New York and New England never failed to make the playoffs in his second year as coach. While still employing a number of younger players, most of the major off-season acquisitions are veterans, from Testaverde to Keyshawn Johnson to Marcellus Wiley to Chad Eaton to Eddie George. "Parcells is going to be hard on us this week," Pro Bowl defensive tackle La'Roi Glover said. "I know it. He's going to crack the whip, but we deserve it." Parcells admits he does not know how this team will react. Every team forges its own identity as the season goes on, but Parcells hopes this team proves to be resilient, like the 2003 team. It lost back-to-back games only once. "We have a few more veterans that have been in the trenches and done the work and won the big games," Campbell said. Parcells is not getting carried away with one loss, especially one in September to a team he believes will contend in the NFC. And as bad as things were against the Vikings, he offered this warning: "Leave the funeral hearse in the garage for a while."