It would be easy for the Dallas Cowboys to swagger after making history with its first-ever back-to-back shutouts. Especially when the second victim was the Philadelphia Eagles, who haven't been shut out since 2005. And especially since this shutout gives the Cowboys the NFC East title.
After all, Dallas' defense is playing very well and Tony Romo—often ridiculed for being unable to win the crucial games—threw for 311 yards, two touchdown passes, and broke his team record for most passing yards in a season with 4,483.
The shutout also is impressive since it ended the Eagles' six-game winning streak.
But before you go out and get too crazy about this game, Cowboys players and fans, you should realize something.
The last playoff game the Cowboys hosted was in the 2007-2008 season when they played the New York Giants. That season, they'd defeated the Giants both times, just as they did this season with the Eagles. Dallas had home field advantage throughout the playoffs and seemed destined to trounce the Giants.
The final score in that game: Giants 21, Dallas 17.
With that, please forgive me if I'm reluctant about joining the chorus line, pointing to the Eagles and singing "Na na na na! Na na na na! Hey hey hey! GOODBYE!"
Granted, the Eagles didn't play today like a team fighting to win the NFC East. Dallas had the ball for more than 20 minutes longer than Philadelphia and Donovan McNabb wasn't able to get anything going in the passing game, despite having a decent game in terms of stats. And the Eagles' running game was anemic. We should all err on the side of caution and assume the Eagles next week will play like a team fighting tooth and nail to keep its season alive and desiring to give its starving fans a Super Bowl victory.
Don't we remember how the Eagles and McNabb seem to be at their most dangerous when they're up against the ropes? Seems to me like every time there's been talk in the past about how the Eagles should get rid of McNabb, he goes out and has a career game.
So, next week Dallas will again host Philadelphia in the Stadium With No Corporate Sponsorship, Cowboys Stadium, to see who will indeed be the Beast from the East. Let's hope Dallas can win its first playoff game since the 1996-1997 season and have a real reason to celebrate defeating the Eagles.
Richard Zowie's a Bleacher Report blogger. Post comments below or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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