As soon as Dan Bailey's second attempt for a game-tying field goal rolled short of the end zone last Sunday night after getting blocked, the first thought that rolled through my head was:
It's going to be a long week.
In actuality, it's been a short week for the Cowboys, who depart for Tampa Bay on Friday to play Saturday night's game with the Bucs. Tight end Jason Witten said that's proving to be a good thing.
"I think it's been good for us to move on pretty quickly here," Witten said. "When you have a tough loss like that, the next game can't get there fast enough. So for us, that's been the approach."
Witten said the players shouldn't forget the Cowboys remain in first place and control their own destiny, something that has seemed overshadowed with the tough loss and failing to secure a two-game division lead.
"We need to get focused and realize what we're playing for," Witten said. "We still have a lot of things in front of us. We just have to take advantage of all that down the stretch."
The Cowboys and Giants both have a 7-6 record with New York holding the current tiebreaker edge after winning last week. Both teams still play two more NFC East games, with the Cowboys facing Philadelphia in two weeks and the Giants hosting the Redskins on Sunday. The Cowboys and Giants square off on Jan. 1 in the Meadowlands for the season finale.
"We just have to keep playing," Witten said. "It's a long season and even though we've got three games to go, that's a lot of football. Anything can happen."