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Jason Hatcher, DeMarcus Ware with different approaches

IRVING, Texas -- It was an interesting scene in the Cowboys locker room regarding the Cowboys 2011 regular season finale, a loss to the New York Giants last season.

The Cowboys needed a victory to clinch a playoff berth but lost, 31-14, to the Giants.

Defensive end Jason Hatcher doesn't want to remember that game. At one point, he asked reporters who the Cowboys played at the end of the season.

"We got to win against Washington," Hatcher said referring to Sunday's opponent.

Asked again about how the Cowboys learned from that Giants loss, Hatcher pantomiming spitting on the ground and said the bad taste of that loss was "gone."

Now that was Hatcher inside the locker room. About 10 minutes later, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware seemed to embrace the conversation of learning to deal with the loss to the Giants.

"This is one of those types of game where you learn from last season to get you to where you are right now," Ware said. "Last season, we weren’t able to pull it out, but we had that opportunity. Now guess what? They say lightning doesn’t strike twice. But it has. Now we have an opportunity to be exactly where we need to be. It's amongst the guys if we want it or not."

The Cowboys are 2-10 in the final game of the regular season since 2000, the worst such record in the NFL. The last time the Cowboys won a win-or-go home regular season game was 1999 when they beat the New York Giants, 26-18.

Over the last couple of years, the Cowboys lost to the Philadelphia Eagles (2008) and the Giants (2011) in win-or-go home contests with a playoff berth on the line.

"It can’t be the same ol story," tight end Jason Witten said. "It’s hard to get in this situation and play for a division title. It’s a great opportunity for us. Hopefully those past experiences have helped develop us so we can be better in this situation. But it is, it’s a different experience. Obviously, different opponent and it’s going to be a tough challenge."