What it means: Have the Cowboys proved once and for all they are not the same old Cowboys?
With two games to go Dallas (10-4) is in first place in the NFC East and could be in position to earn a first-round bye or even home-field advantage, which is an amazing feat considering the expectations at the start of the season.
And amazing again after the 33-10 whipping the Eagles put on them on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium.
After jumping out to a 21-0 lead, the Cowboys gave up 24 straight points and the whispers of the same old Cowboys grew strong. With the Lincoln Financial Field crowd in a frenzy, the Cowboys immediately responded with an eight-play, 78-yard drive that ended in a DeMarco Murray touchdown run to retake the lead for good.
The Cowboys are now 7-0 on the road this season for the first time since 2007 and just the third time in franchise history. They have also reached double digits in wins for the first time since 2009, which is also the last time they made the playoffs. The margin for error, however, remains slim. The Cowboys can't afford any slip.
Gut call turns out well: Sometimes coaches can get too emotional when they use their replay challenges. In the third quarter Jason Garrett threw the challenge flag after a 72-yard completion to Jeremy Maclin when the ball popped loose at the goal line. The call stood and the Eagles scored on their next play. At the urging of his players in the fourth quarter, Garrett challenged a reception by Brent Celek and the Cowboys got the ball back. It was a gutsy call considering the bang-bang nature of the play, but Garrett stood by his players and the Cowboys got the call back.
Game ball: Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were unstoppable. Bryant had the first three-touchdown game of his career. Romo had his sixth game with at least three touchdown passes this season. In the first meeting against the Eagles, Romo saw his streak of having at least one touchdown pass end and Bryant caught just four passes for 73 yards. Romo connected on six of his seven attempts to Bryant for 114 yards. He finished with 265 yards and completed 70 percent of his passes. In the rematch they showed why they are one of the best quarterback-wide receiver combos in the NFL and as a result the Cowboys’ playoff chances.
Stock watch: J.J. Wilcox was admittedly not very good against the Eagles on Thanksgiving. He was out of control and out of his gaps and the Eagles made him pay. In the second half Sunday, Wilcox had an interception of Mark Sanchez on the final play of the third quarter that led to a Bryant touchdown and with 7:48 to go he poked the ball free from Celek for a fumble that linebacker Kyle Wilber recovered. The Cowboys turned that takeaway into a Dan Bailey field goal for a 38-27 lead with 4:37 to play.
What’s next: The Cowboys close out their home regular-season schedule against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They are 3-4 at AT&T Stadium and need to win to avoid their first losing record at home since 2010 when they went 2-6 on their way to a 6-10 finish. It will be Andrew Luck’s first visit to AT&T Stadium.