Even in First Place, Cowboys Not Changing Focus 


FRISCO, Texas – So as the Cowboys begin the month of December, what really has changed in the last four weeks?

Well, quite a bit actually, especially in terms of the NFC playoff picture.

The Cowboys have gone from 3-5, two games behind the Redskins in the NFC East and far removed from a wild-card spot, to now in sole possession of first place in the division at 7-5, a full game ahead of both the Eagles and Redskins.

The Cowboys will play host to Philadelphia on Sunday at AT&T Stadium for one of the biggest regular-season games in years. A win would not only give them a season sweep on the Eagles for the first time since 2012, but would give them a sizable lead on Philly with three games to play and still ahead of the Redskins, who lost yet another quarterback for the season.

Yet, the Cowboys are rather consistent when they talk about their own mindset. In fact, the same mentality that helped the Cowboys get on this four-game winning streak is the same one that has to propel them into the playoffs as well.

"Our backs are still against the wall. Nothing has changed," Dak Prescott said. "Obviously, we're winning, we're stringing some good days and some good games upon each other, but that's what it's about. That's what we've preached on, is stacking good days and good wins on top of each other. Nothing changes just because we've won a few. We've got to keep doing that."

When asked about the spirit of the team in the locker room after this four-game winning streak, DeMarcus Lawrence didn't blink, stating that none of that excitement is meaningful.

"It really doesn't matter about the spirit. Our back is still against the wall," Lawrence said. "We have another challenge this week. So it's just really about us locking back in and being able to go back out there and fight this next battle and put the last one behind us."

That last one was hard to forget as the Dallas defense smothered the NFL's most prolific offense and MVP candidate Drew Brees. The Cowboys' 13-10 win over the Saints has the league on notice as they try to continue this trend. But even though the Eagles are the team that helped the Cowboys start this four-game run, veteran Tyrone Crawford certainly isn't looking past them at home. The Eagles have now won two straight division games, including an impressive 28-13 Monday night victory over the Redskins.

"They're a good team. Obviously, they have to win," Crawford said of the Eagles. "I don't know what their situation is, but I know ours, mentality-wise, is 'back against the wall' and we've got to get the win. We're going into the game just like we're going into any other game. And just like we'd always go into a game, hopefully, is to go for that 'W' and whatever that's going to take. It's going to bring the dog out of us. It has to."