Franchise Shifter

The Cowboys won three straight games following their victory in Kansas City.

had no business winning that game - not based on talent, but the way they played and executed.

In hindsight, you can say that win got their act together as the Cowboys reeled off three straight wins and five out of the next six to get back into the playoff picture.

In terms of keeping the head coach, getting in position to make the playoffs, winning a game, and developing a star receiver in the process, it's hard to find a regular-season game that meant so much to the overall status of a franchise.

That's why the Chiefs game not only ranks first on my list of important regular-season games last season, but right there at the top among the last 20 years.

Check back tomorrow for my list of the 10 most influential regular-season games of the last two decades. Now remember, it won't be the best 10 games since 1990, or the most exciting. And for the record, it won't all be Cowboys' victories.

But because of what happened that day in Kansas City, and then what transpired afterwards, it will be difficult to find many more regular season games that had more impact on a franchise than the one against the Chiefs.

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