Cowboys moving forward after tough loss

DALLAS -- Stung by Sunday’s 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys found some truth on Monday: if they win the next two games they make the playoffs.

That was the message coach Jason Garrett attempted to deliver after the disheartening loss, and that’s the message the players delivered Monday.

“It’s tough, there’s no question,” tight end Jason Witten said. “You’ve got to be realistic with yourself and say, ‘Well, we’ve got two games left. We win them, we win this division.’ So it does hurt and that’s the reality of it but we’ve got to be able to bounce back and move forward. If we dwell on it, nobody cares. You’ve got to move forward because if you let it linger into next week then we’ve really got a problem.”

The Cowboys face a must-win game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Sunday. If they win, then they will make the Week 17 season finale versus the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium a division championship game. Lose to the Redskins, and the Cowboys will need the Eagles to lose to the Chicago Bears to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Cowboys have lost two straight December games, but Sunday’s defeat against the Packers might have been the cruelest. After they saw the Eagles lose earlier in the day to the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys had a chance to reclaim first place in the NFC East. They led 26-3 at halftime and by 12 points with 7:55 to play and could not close the deal.

Tony Romo had two late interceptions that the Packers turned into touchdowns, including the game-winner with 1:31 to play.

Despite the losses to the Chicago Bears and Packers to open what has been a cruel month for the Cowboys, Witten maintains the team has confidence.

“I think we’ve done a great job bouncing back when we’ve had tough losses,” Witten said. “More than last week (against Chicago) we did some good things. We played really good football in many areas. We obviously didn’t do it at crunch time when we needed to. But I felt like we played well and we should have some confidence and we’ve got to play better moving forward.”