Monday, November 21, 2011
Eagles game a wake-up call for Cowboys
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING -- The Cowboys are tied for first place in the NFC East with the New York Giants. If the season ended today the Cowboys would clinch the No. 4 seed and win the NFC East title because they own the tiebreaker with a better division record (2-1 to 1-2). than the Giants.
Also, the Cowboys have the best conference record in the division at 5-2 and are one of at least five teams with a minimum of five conference wins.
It doesn't mean anything to the Cowboys at this stage.
"There's no time for that," nose tackle Jay Ratliff said after Monday's walkthrough session. "There's no time for us to look around the league and see what's going on and get help from this team. One thing that Jason [Garrett] said that really stands out is we need to play with blinders on. Look at what we're doing and just work on the things that we can control."
Ratliff noted the Cowboys' 34-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 30 was a wakeup call to this season. After that loss, the Cowboys have forge to a season-high three game win streak and of course first place in the division. The Cowboys have swept the season series with Washington and have three more division and five more conference games left in their season.
"That Eagles game put a nasty taste in our mouths and that's something that we never want to feel again," Ratliff said. "And I'm pretty sure that's something you heard for years and years but it really did. I think that game was a wakeup call and we need to take things more serious and get out there and just do our jobs."
Garrett has preached all season to his team not to worry about the standings. During his 20 minute news conference on Monday, Garrett seemed to dismiss the team's place within the division.
"Well, we tell them a lot of different stories and a lot of different anecdotes and ultimately it comes back to probably what you said when asking the question – Our goal is to be great today," he said. "We try to as coaches express that sentiment lots of different ways and it means coming off adverse situations and it means coming off successful situations. The idea is to somehow learn from each of them, put them to rest and go to the next one. And we’ll certainly try do that this week. There are a lot of good things that happened in that game against the Redskins but there were things that weren’t quite as good. Hopefully we’ll learn from both and process them and go forward to the next opportunity."