However, the 24-hour rule of celebrating a win might not have been necessary in this case.
“You never minimize a win, but somewhere deep down, you know you’ve got to play a lot better,” tight end Jason Witten said. “You can be first place in the division and all that, but know that you’ve got to play better moving forward. We all have to realize that and live in the now and understand that moving forward; we need to do that in all phases of our football team.
“Enjoy the win, but deep down know that we’ve got to play better moving forward. That’ll be the message.”
The Cowboys will find plenty of room for improvement while reviewing the win.
The defense allowed 393 yards to a Minnesota team that ranks 27th in the NFL in total offense. It’s one thing for perennial Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson to rush for 140 yards, but quarterback Christian Ponder matched his season high with 236 passing yards.
The Dallas offense sputtered for much of the day against a defense that ranks 29th in the league. The Cowboys abandoned the run and were plagued by dropped passes for much of the day.
“I know as a team inside that locker room, we’re going to be on each other, telling each other we can’t have it,” said Dez Bryant, who had two drops, including one on a play in which he might have been able to score. “That’s just what it is.”