This Cowboys team needed this victory to stay a team. Jerry Jones insinuated it. If this team had lost this game on that 4th down, we would be seeing a new coaching staff and slew of new players next year. Well for one more week, this team stands.
There was a distinct difference in this teams identity though. I saw evidence of it on the first Cowboys drive. Romo handed it to Murray and he bulled his way in for a touchdown.
In the last 4 games, DeMarco Murray has avoided contact at the end of his runs. When I saw him seek out contact and score I saw the difference.
I saw the difference when the Dallas offense stuck with the run in the 4th quarter. I saw the difference when countless injured Cowboy players came back onto the field. That evidence of a different identity popped up when Romo stayed on the field.
To see mental toughness take over a team is a beautiful thing.
This team needed all that toughness and oh by the way another game winning drive by Tony Romo. He didn’t let up. He kept his eyes down field and dragged his team to the 2 yard line of the Redskins. Then of course the Cowboys beat themselves by going backwards.
This time though, Murray and Romo led their team. I was ready to call Murray soft until I saw him go to Garret with that steel eyed look.
So what I am saying? Romo still had to lead his team on a game winning drive, but he finally had a running game to help him. Could this team finally have a dynamic duo in Murray and Romo? So far so good.
Can the Cowboys win against the Eagles? I have gone back and looked at all my game notes and based on my analysis of the season, the evidence points to no. What? Ya I know, I went back a couple of times.
I just don’t see the empirical evidence that shows that the Cowboys can be any more than 8-8 with this roster and coaching staff and the way this season has played out . Every single piece of data tells me this team will not win next week.
I know that’s hard to read on a victory Monday.
Now that being said, all that data is simply data. Stats and trend lines sitting on a spreadsheet. It has nothing to do with that game on that day. While anything is possible, data tells me what is probable. Mental toughness is a not a metric I can track. If they win, it will because of that characteristic.
I look at the big picture as part of this gig. The stats say no. The Cowboy muster next week to prove that numbers do lie.
Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Justin on twitter @justinsopinion