- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Whether it was a must-win game is a matter of semantics.
There is no question Sunday night’s game was critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of winning the mediocre NFC East. It would have been a major disappointment to emerge from a stretch of four home games in the first six weeks with a sub-.500 record.
The Cowboys made sure that didn’t happen by defeating the Washington Redskins, 31-16, allowing the owner and general manager to breathe a big sigh of relief on his 71st birthday. The Cowboys will head to Philadelphia to face the Eagles next week in a matchup of teams tied for first place with 3-3 records
“This game had a lot riding on it,” Jerry Jones said. “I don’t want to call it pressure, but it just was a lot riding on it. We did not need to lose this ballgame.
“And this was a moral victory.”
Jones punctuated that last thought with a laugh, well aware that he’d stuck his foot in his mouth by labeling the previous week’s loss to the Denver Broncos a moral victory. That was a matter of semantics that blew up in Jones’ face, but it was comedic fodder for him after the Cowboys came back the next week with a win that counts in the standings.