Cowboys will use blowout loss as motivation

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

On Thursday, I'll take a look back at how the Cowboys' 44-6 loss to the Eagles last season changed the course for both teams. Now, the Cowboys are hoping to use that embarrassment as motivation as they return to the Linc on Sunday night.

The winner of Sunday's game will be in the midseason driver's seat for the NFC East crown. Cowboys coach Wade Phillips doesn't think there will be a carryover effect from last season's debacle, but he admits that players haven't forgotten what took place.

"I think it's important certainly," Phillips said. "This is this year's team. I think everybody remembers last year. Not all of our players were on this team last year and we split with them last year, but the last game really hurt us. And the guys that were there certainly remember it."

Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com has a report on what took place at Valley Ranch on Monday. Wide receiver Patrick Crayton was the only player speaking to reporters because Phillips gave the team a "Victory Monday."

"I think everybody realizes what's at stake in this game and how critical this one really is," Crayton said. "I'm not going to call it a must-win. It's not going to break the season, but I think it's a 'have-to-win.'"

I'm not totally sure of the difference between a "must-win" and "have-to-win." If you guys have some ideas, please let me know.