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Hard To Believe It's True

was minus-2, tying them for 21st in the NFL. Today, the Cowboys are tied for fifth with three other teams at plus-8. That means in these past five games, the Cowboys are a plus-10. 

And it's not as if they suddenly have gone on a takeaway tear to forge this difference. They have 13 in the past five games. They had 12 in the first six. So not huge. 

But here is the difference in all this: Nine of the 14 turnovers in the first six games led to points by the opponent; six touchdowns and three field goals, totaling 51 points, and let's not forget Romo was responsible for 17 of those points in the second half of the 36-22 loss to the Giants. 

Yet here over the past five games, the Cowboys have only aided and abetted the opponent to just seven points on turnovers - off the interception at Carolina. That's it. Just seven points. So with one game to go, that's a difference of 44 points. So, huge. 

How huge? Well, at the six-game mark, the Cowboys had outscored their opponents by 41 points, 169-128. In the past five games, the Cowboys have outscored their opponents by 70 points, 140-70, and right now have a 309-198 advantage, or 111 points. Only Chicago and San Diego have a larger differential. 

There are more numbers to suggest this Cowboys' 7-4 record, which certainly could be at least 9-2 if not for all the point-costing turnovers the first half of the season, is not a mirage. 

The Cowboys' 309 points is tops in the NFC and ranks second in the NFL, behind only San Diego's 353 points. 

The Cowboys' 198 points against rank second in the NFC to only Chicago (137), and are tied for fifth in the NFL. 

Only Chicago (34) and Baltimore (29) have more takeaways than the Cowboys' 25. 

The Cowboys' red-zone, touchdown-scoring percentage of 62.8 leads the NFC and is fourth in the NFL. 

The Cowboys' 49-percent third-down conversion rate tops the NFC, and is second only to Indy's other-worldly 56.7. 

The Cowboys are the only team in the NFL with its offense and defense ranked in the top five, both ranked fourth going into the Monday night game, and just one of three teams to have its offense and defense ranked in the top 10, San Diego fourth and ninth, while New England is seventh and sixth. 

The Cowboys also own the NFC's leading scorer among non-kickers, backup running back Marion Barber now with 66 points, which includes a conference-high nine rushing touchdowns. Third would be none other than wide receiver Terrell Owens with 50 points. 

Then there is Romo, leading the NFL with a 110.8 quarterback rating. Now granted he has only 180 passing attempts, which is 199 fewer than Peyton Manning (100.2), 174 fewer than Carson Palmer (99.9) and a whopping 233 fewer than Drew Brees (97.8), and hey, no one would argue more at-bats don't make a difference. 

But Romo also leads the NFC in three other categories: Completion percentage (69.4), percentage of touchdown passes (7.2) and, to me this one is what's big, average gain per attempt (9.2) - the latter two also leading the NFL. 


Oh, and there is one other thing, and shhhhh, don't tell Bill I said this, and for good measure maybe you ought to knock on some serious wood to cover me, but the Cowboys have to lead the NFL in this category 11 games into the season: Only three starts missed due to injury. That's all season now. The Giants had more than that just on Sunday. 

All this for real? 

Hmmm, them Wooden Soldiers ought to be parading by any day now.                                       

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