IRVING – The last time the entire NFC East lost during the Cowboys bye week? That was 2009, which is also the last time Dallas was 7-3, which is also last time they made the playoffs.
For idle Dallas, this was the ideal bye week, a Sunday during which the Eagles suffered a 53-20 embarrassment at Green Bay that dropped their record to 7-3, creating a tie atop the division. Meanwhile, the Giants and Redskins both lost as well, all but burying their chance at contention with twin 3-7 records. And just for fun, while inactive Dallas QB Tony Romoallowed his fractured back to heal, NFC contenders New Orleans, Seattle and Detroit all lost as well.
I find it notable that both Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and locker-room leader Jason Witten used almost the same exact words when describing their approach to watching football over the weekend: They would do so while avoiding “getting emotionally caught up in it.” Makes sense, though with four of their final six games in the division, and two of those against an Eagles team they’re now locked up with at the top, it must’ve been a challenge to remain unemotional.
This isn’t about Super Bowl boasts yet. Note that team owner Jerry Jones didn’t “promise” or even “bring up” the idea. He responded to a question last week on 105.3 The Fan by saying, “We didn’t really think that possibly this year might be the year, but you sure can’t dismiss (a Super Bowl run) at this particular point. I think we’re going to have some fun here in these last six ballgames.”
They already had as much fun as a bye week permits.