Alive And Still Kicking

yards - Glenn's long of 51 to help pull the Cowboys out of a 10-0 hole - and Glenn's game-winning touchdown on a Bledsoe audible when he detected the Panthers third-ranked defense coming on a blitz up the middle. 

Where ya'll been? 

"I think (this shows) last week was out of character," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, telling everyone he could afterward in the locker room "Merry Christmas," as if they all were his family members. "This says last week was an aberration. That didn't reflect what this team's about. This reflects what this team is about. 

"That was a knockout punch when they put 10 points on us . . . . But we just reared back flat-footed and threw our punch." 

Kaboom. 

And remember, the pressure was on. Cowboys lose, they would have been out of the playoff picture. Throw dirt on the 2005 season for the biggest collapse in franchise history. 

But now, there is hope, and mostly in themselves first, because if the Cowboys can beat St. Louis in that fate-deciding 7:30 p.m. start at Texas Stadium and either Washington loses at Philadelphia or Carolina loses at Atlanta, they would claim one of the two available wild-card berths. 

And to think, most everyone had given them up for dead after losing three of the past four - two to the Giants (10-5) and Washington (9-6) - and especially after getting lambasted by the Redskins. How they cried: Get rid of the quarterback. Get rid of the running back. Get rid of the entire offensive line. Get rid of those aging wide receiver. 

Heck, get rid of the head coach, too. 

But there very appropriately for this holiday season is a parable in all of this: Never, ever let one game define a season. Never ever let one stretch define a season. Take the season as a whole. Just count 'em up at the end. In the immortal words of Bucky Dent when he was with the Texas Rangers, "Just when you think you're in, you're out. And just when you think you're out, you're in." 

Because come on, who ever thought the Cowboys would be swept this year by the Redskins for the first time since 1995? Who ever thought the Cowboys could go on the road to win in San Diego and here in Carolina? Who thought before the season began it would be the Eagles the Cowboys sweep, not the Giants? 

No one liked being told to pad all that knee-jerking, and not to come to all those hasty, all encompassing conclusions on the Cowboys as a whole, but also on the rookie Ware and Julius Jones. Impulse control, I've been preaching. 

This is why they play a 16-game season. 

"There were a lot of doubters out there, and when it's like that, all you can do is come out swinging, and hopefully this performance will shut them up and carry us into the next game," Julius Jones said, not trying to be vindictive at all. 

"All we got to do is win, and what's going to happen is going to happen." 

Amen.     

MICK SHOTS

     
  Great idea by the offensive staff trying to get the ball on the edges, especially in the running game. The Cowboys repeatedly ran that toss pitch to Julius Jones to the outside, which not only gave him a chance to utilize his speed, but also give those Panthers defensive ends Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker something to think about other than Bledsoe's head. 
  This Cowboys victory at Carolina pushed their road record to 4-4, matching the most road victories in a single season - 1996, 1998, 2003 - since going 6-2 in 1995. 
  And while Bill Parcells didn't give the question the time of day when asked about an ESPN report claiming he is contemplating walking away from the final year of his contract, owner Jerry Jones said, "Neither one of us has spoken about either of our retirements this year." 
  By the way, when

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