IRVING -- Jason Garrett laid out the Dallas Cowboys' goals in a 15-minute meeting before the season. They haven't been mentioned since.
The minute the meeting ended, the Cowboys began the painstaking chore of trying to get to the ultimate destination by living in the moment.
"[We] outline what our big picture objectives are," Garrett said Monday. "I think everyone in this league has the same goal -- to be the Super Bowl champion. You have to lay that out there right from the start, and then we quickly get into how we are going to do that, and the way we do it is we focus on each and every day, each and every practice, each and every meeting and trying to do our best in everything we try to do, individually and collectively."
The Cowboys began the season 3-4 but have won their past two games, including a decisive 44-7 victory over the Bills on Sunday. They have outscored their past two opponents -- Seattle and Buffalo -- 67-20 and outgained them 875-652.
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"I think we are playing better," Garrett said. "We don't really talk too much about getting on rolls. We talk about trying to be great each and every day, and take full advantage of the opportunities we have. It's hard in this league; it's hard every time you snap the football. You are going to be challenged by the guy across from you -- as a player, as a coach, as a football team. We live in that world more than any other kind of world. We are going to process this game, again build on the good things that went on, correct some of the bad things and get ready for Washington."
The Cowboys moved closer to first place in the NFC East after the New York Giants lost to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Dallas is alone in second place, one game behind the Giants. Winning the NFC East will be the Cowboys' easiest route to the playoffs, and owner Jerry Jones believes it is his team's only route.
Six teams in the NFC have a better record than the Cowboys. The Atlanta Falcons have the same 5-4 record as the Cowboys. The Detroit Lions, who will be fighting for a wild-card berth, hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas.
"It's very early, and I wouldn't dare to venture what can happen," Jones said Sunday, when asked how many victories it will take to win the East. "I wouldn't dare to venture. I will say this: We're going to need to win the division, I think, to get in the playoffs."
Since the current playoff format began in 1990, the NFC East winner has won at least 10 games.
The Cowboys' schedule is favorable, with their remaining opponents having a 21-33 record. The Giants, whom the Cowboys play twice, are the only team left on Dallas' schedule that currently has a winning record.
But the Cowboys are not counting their wins before they are won.
"I just think we are playing well right now," Cowboys safety Abe Elam said Monday. "Our big thing is that we are steadily improving. We can't focus too far ahead, but we know that we can look forward to this week and try to get another win together and not thinking about what's ahead."