ARLINGTON, Texas – This is what Dak Prescott has been talking about for weeks now.
As bad as it's looked for much of the last two months, the Cowboys now have an impressive win under their belts. And judging from the dominant nature of their 44-21 pasting of the L.A. Rams, it's fair to wonder if they can move it forward.
"Momentum is a dangerous thing, and it's about getting it on our side," Prescott said following the win. "We've just got to build off tonight – simple as that."
It'd be wise not to get too far ahead of the situation, because building on success is the crucial element the Cowboys have been missing all season long. They followed a three-game winning streak with a three-game losing streak at the start of the season, and they have been unable to win consecutive games at any point in the last six weeks.
At the same time, this was arguably the Cowboys' most complete performance of the season – and their first victory against a winning team. Could that make a difference heading into the final two weeks of the year?
"I just know that they're going to get this shot of inspiration, shot of confidence and what their hard work can do when it pays off," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones. "I think that everybody has soul-searched, as you should be. We saw a lot of pride out there tonight and hopefully we'll see that as we go forward."
That soul-searching was no doubt a response to last week's 31-24 loss in Chicago, which was easily a low point of Jason Garrett's tenure as head coach. Despite the misleading score line, the Cowboys were dominated on both sides of the ball in a loss Jones said he didn't see coming.
"That loss against Chicago set me down pretty hard," he said. "We have had other disappointing losses. But I didn't expect that against Chicago. I didn't expect Chicago to play as well against us as they played, not to take anything away from them."
On the flip side, Jones said this performance against the Rams exceeded even his lofty expectations. The Cowboys played their most complete game of the season, looking like a playoff contender for the first time since September.
With a chance to clinch the NFC East championship next weekend in Philadelphia, it's evident Garrett has given his team a mantra to hang on to.
"Get your eyes forward and make it a one-game season on Monday," Garrett said.
There's no time like the present for this team's first win-streak since Nov. 4. A win against the Eagles on Sunday would lock the Cowboys into the No. 4 seed in the NFC playoffs, ensuring them a home playoff game when the regular season is over.
But that's the crux of the issue. This Cowboys team has experienced success, but it has yet to sustain it. Whether or not they can grab onto some of that elusive momentum will tell the story of their season.
"This is a great way for us to, not get over, but for us to put into perspective what the last three or four weeks mean and how to make something good happen," Jones said. "It is possible for this team to be a part of a team that they can remember all their lives, in a positive way."