GREEN BAY – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was right to call it a "surreal" feeling to be at the end of his team's wild ride.
"I know I'm saying the words and we're standing here talking about it being over, but I can't feel like it's over at all," he said. "It wasn't over, what, 10 minutes ago."
It's odd to move from the potential of a berth in the NFC Championship Game to the end of the season – all in span of about 15 minutes. Be that as it may, the process of moving forward begins right away.
With the Cowboys done playing games until September, it's hard to look past the contract situations that have loomed over them all season long. Most of the members of the coaching staff, headlined by head coach Jason Garrett, not to mention several star-caliber players, need new deals if they are to continue their careers in Dallas.
Jones said Sunday that those determinations will begin immediately.
"I know it's certainly one of the orders of the day, beginning right this minute," Jones said of Garrett's contract. "We're through playing. That's usually when that steps up and gets at the top of your list."
It's not just Garrett, though, but key coordinators who have to be considered. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli just finished the last year of his contract, and the future is cloudy for offensive coordinators Scott Linehan and Bill Callahan.
When the high-profile positions are determined, the Cowboys can go about deciding what to do with their position coaches.
"In general, this staff is one that you'd like to keep going, with a lot of other things influencing your ability to keep a staff together, especially since you're dealing with about 23 of them," Jones said.
None of that factors into upcoming roster decision. The Cowboys have two All-Pros with expiring contracts in Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. How the Cowboys proceed with those two decisions will determine a lot about their salary cap in 2015.
"I'm not worried about it. Everything will take care of itself, and we'll see what happens," Murray said after the game.
Bryant and Murray command the headlines, but they won't be the only roster decisions Jones has to make. The Cowboys have a plethora of upcoming free agents, including Doug Free, Rolando McClain, Bruce Carter and Justin Durant, just to name a few.
"We have about 30 percent turnover every year. What is the core? Who is the core? That's a part of what we'll be doing," Jones said.
For the time being, Murray wasn't concerned about the future, so much as a gut-wrenching loss.
"You play to win, no matter what -- contracts or all that other stuff doesn't matter to us," he said. "That stuff takes care of itself. Just play to win the game."