The Cowboys took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East with the 38-27 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. But they have yet to clinch a playoff berth and need victories in their final two games to assure themselves a postseason berth.
Owner Jerry Jones said the team has work to do, but he does take pride in the team’s 10-4 record after heading into the season with low expectations following three straight 8-8 seasons and seemingly lesser talent on defense.
“Of course with the way that we’ve done this in the league now, bunched everything up at the end, very few of us can say we’re in the playoffs tonight,” Jones said. “Even the ones that have 10 wins. It just seems like yesterday that we started the season, and we were trying to guess what this team could do. There’s no question that we’ve probably in my view, relative to the prior 8-8 teams that we’ve had, we’ve probably given this team, from talent and personnel, the last chance of having 10 wins of any of the last 3-4 years.
“The one reason we did it is because we thought we were given the teams over the last few years the best chance to win. It is beyond my expectation when we started the year that we’re sitting here with the wins. It doesn’t surprise me when I look at the work of Jason, when I look at the work of the staff, when I look the preparation, when I look at the resolve that they exhibited during our OTAs and training camp, it doesn’t surprise me that we’ve had exceeded our expectation at all. I do think that we all got an opportunity to observe for ourselves.”
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Jones credits the work of coach Jason Garrett and the play of quarterback Tony Romo, who has battled back from off-season back surgery and has battled through a fractured back and rib injuries to play some of the best football of his career.
“Most of us can see what Tony was when he was OTAs or what he was in the off-season, what he was in training camp and he’s been during the season,” Jones said. “ There’s total transparency here. We’ve watched him cope with his back. We watched him cope with his regime. He’s one example of how this team can say at least tonight that we’re in the playoffs.”