Marcus Spears: Winning out in Cowboys' minds

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys (6-6) are down to a four-game season.

A win Sunday at Cincinnati keeps the Cowboys' playoff hopes alive. But the Cowboys are one-game behind the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East and there are numerous scenarios yet to play out concerning a wild-card berth.

One loss realistically could end any playoff dreams. So the Cowboys basically need to win out.

"I think, yeah, it's prevalent," defensive end Marcus Spears said after Thursday's practice. "But it's about how you approach it. Obviously we know what we need to do. Sometimes (it) puts you in a situation where you feel like you got too much on you. You look at the week ahead and you deal with that one and try to win that one and put it to bed and move on to the next one. I think if we start thinking about the postseason and if we start thinking, 'What if this happened? What if that happened?' It kind of takes focus away from what you're trying to do as a team."

Several players have said they're not scoreboard watching this weekend because it serves no purpose. While the season is short, too much football remains to be played.

Of course, the best thing for the Cowboys is to just focus on the Bengals and not worry about what Washington, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Tampa Bay all do this weekend. It might drive you crazy because you can't control those games.

"I'm pretty sure Ali was thinking about Foreman before thinking about the next one," Spears said with a smile.