So here the Cowboys sit at the halfway point at 6-2. Not only that but they are also 5-1 in NFC games and they have the tiebreaker over Atlanta and a road win at Philadelphia in their pockets. Not bad for half a season's work. But there is still half a season to go.
The Cowboys have been relatively injury free so far this season. Sure, Marion Barber and Felix Jones are fighting through minor injuries. Gerald Sensabaugh missed a game with a broken thumb and is still playing with a cast. Andre Gurode and Ken Hamlin are nicked up after the Philly game. But compared to the injury disaster that was the 2008 season there is really nothing to complain about. My worry is that it only takes one game or, in some cases, one play to change everything. That is why they need to keep winning the games they are supposed to while they still have all hands on deck.
The December schedule has been dissected to no end by nearly everyone and we all can see that things are going to get much tougher down the stretch. If the Cowboys can piece together 3 more wins over the next few weeks they can head into the brutal stretch at 9-2. Even going 2-1 over the next 3 games would be ok since they would sit at 8-3 and in no worse than a tie for first in the NFC East. It is probably going to take 10 wins to clinch a playoff birth and at least 11 to win the division. If the Cowboys can bank a few more wins now then they can afford to drop a few late season games without destroying the season.
Winning breeds more winning. We can all see that the team that takes the field these days for the Cowboys is very different from the team that walked on the field in week 1. I think part of that is due to the added confidence that comes with putting together a winning streak. The more times they win the more they are going to believe in themselves. I think the Philadelphia win is going to put a swagger back in their step that we haven't seen since the 13-3 season in 2007. I think they are a more mature team this time around who will handle the media attention better. Romo is a seasoned veteran and he seems to understand that he is going to have to continue to "grind" every day to make sure things stay on the right path. It seems like the whole team gets it right now.
I hope we aren't being set up for a disappointment again but I don't think we are. Things feel different this time. Sure, injuries could knock the wind out of their sails faster than anything else, but I don't think complacency is going to be the downfall. Keith Brooking won't allow it. Jay Ratliff won't let it happen. Tony Romo has worked his tail off and isn't going to fade into the abyss without a fight.
With the great start to the season all that the Cowboys need to do to make sure they are in the tournament is win the games they are favored to win. I see 4 very winnable games remaining and 4 tough games. If they win the 4 winnable games that is 10 wins. Split the other two and we are looking at a 12 win season. All of the preseason goals are there for the taking. The Cowboys need to just keep doing what they are doing right now.