Jerry Jones sees this Sunday's showdown against the San Francisco 49ers as a measuring stick of where the Dallas Cowboys stack up against what he considers the team "most likely" right now to win the Super Bowl.
"They are, right now, probably the most likely team to go win the Super Bowl, but in order for them to get there, they have to go by us, hopefully two times if that's the way it falls in the playoffs and we're in the playoffs, of course," the Cowboys' owner and general manager said Tuesday on "Shan & RJ" on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
"But the bottom line is you're playing the best, you don't need the game to tell you you're playing the best, but you need the game to show you how you stack up against the best."
The Cowboys' season has ended at the hands of the 49ers in each of the past two postseasons. Jones said Tuesday that a victory Sunday at San Francisco "would be inspiring."
He said that he believes the Cowboys (3-1) match up physically with the undefeated 49ers (4-0), that he likes his defense and that "frankly this is the best I've felt about our offense this year."
The 49ers are one of only two unbeaten teams left in the NFL this season. The other team is the Cowboys' NFC East-rival Philadelphia Eagles (4-0).
After the Cowboys dominated the New England Patriots 38-3 on Sunday, questions from the media quickly focused on the 49ers. Quarterback Dak Prescott said the Cowboys' 19-12 loss at Levi's Stadium in the divisional round in January still drives him "every day."
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said the Cowboys are treating Sunday's matchup like a playoff game.
"It's always a battle going when we're going against the Niners, and obviously the last two years, they've had our number," he said.
"So, this game means a lot more [to us] than just a regular-season game," Hankins said. "Two of the best teams in our [conference], so we've got to turn the page and beat the 49ers, man."