Cowboys playing mind tricks with body

IRVING, Texas – With such a quick turnaround from Sunday to Thursday, this week is mostly about the mind tricking the body for the players.

Today is a “Friday” practice, which focuses on short-yardage, goal line and red zone work. Tuesday’s practice dealt with third downs. On Monday, the work centered on first and second down situations.

“The game’s going to be played regardless of how your feeling or where you are mentally,” linebacker Anthony Spencer said, “We just try to get ready as best we can and be where we need to be mentally.”

The Cowboys have won five of their last six games on Thanksgiving, losing only to New Orleans in 2010 when Tony Romo was out with a broken collarbone. In 2005 they lost to Denver, 24-21, in overtime. Mike Shanahan was on the sidelines that day for the Broncos and he’ll be on the sidelines Thursday for Washington.

A win Thursday would move the Cowboys to within a half-game of first place in the NFC East behind the New York Giants.

“When you can win two games like this and have an opportunity like this going into December, with that time off it can help your team,” Jason Witten said. “But you can’t look past it. It’s going to be here quick. You’ve got to be mentally tough in these type situations. Playing at home, get your rest and get out there and start fast. We always talk about finishing strong. I think for us offensively starting fast not turning the ball over, get points early will be big for us.”