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With eight wins, Cowboys looking to break barrier

IRVING, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 23, 2003, Bill Parcells made a memorable statement at his postgame news conference:

“You can’t call them losers anymore,” said an emotional Parcells after the Cowboys picked up their eighth win of that season, “because they’re something else now.”

On Nov. 23, 2014, the Cowboys beat the New York Giants for their eighth win of the season, but there were no bold proclamations Sunday night.

These Cowboys have gone 8-8 in each of the previous three seasons. The bulk of those Cowboys teams under Parcells endured three straight 5-11 seasons.

The Cowboys haven’t won more than eight games in a season since 2009, which just so happens to be the last time they made the playoffs. They finished 11-5 that season and won a playoff game.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones hopes there is some motivation to get that ninth win Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It’s enough [motivation] just to go down and beat Philadelphia,” Jones said Sunday. “They’ve been a big nemesis for us for many years. But if we needed any, it would be nice to break eight.”

According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is only the third time the Eagles and Cowboys will meet when both teams are at least five games above .500. The Cowboys won the previous two meetings: Week 17 in 2009 and Week 16 in 1980.

“Certainly it’s an important game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “It’s a division game. We have the same record. There’s significance to that. And you heard me say this before: You play 16 games, and each one is critical. Every game that you play is the most important game you’re playing because it’s the one you’re involved in, so this is the most important game of the year up to this point. Just like [Sunday] night’s was the most important game.”