Sun, Nov 25, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Cowboys breaking records ahead of Packers game


The records keep coming for the Dallas Cowboys, with more in sight. Good ones, too.

Most wins? The record is 13, and this club is already 10-1, itself a record for best start. Dallas would have to finish 2-3 or worse not to get this one.

Most points? The record is 479, and this club has 358. The Cowboys' season low is 24 points, done only once. They'll have to average that or less to fall short of this mark.

Most touchdown passes? With 29, Tony Romo already has surpassed the greatest seasons by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach and tied the record set by Danny White. Terrell Owens has been on the receiving end of 13 TDs, one shy of matching that record.

As glorious as it all sounds for a franchise with such a proud history, these milestones will be pretty useless if the Cowboys don't win their next game -- at home, on Thursday night, against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, who happen to also be 10-1.

The winner will have a two-game lead in the chase for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs with only four games left. Put more bluntly, the upcoming game could determine whether the conference championship is played at Texas Stadium or Lambeau Field.

"I like Texas Stadium better," Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.

A late January game in Green Bay wouldn't necessarily doom Dallas' Super Bowl chances. After all, the Cowboys are 5-0 on the road and, as coach Wade Phillips noted on Friday, a game in nasty weather would mean fewer passes and more runs, which probably would benefit his club.

Still, there's something to be said about getting to play at home, like Dallas will do in this potential NFC championship preview.

"The thing that excites me is this team always seems like they've been up for a challenge like this," tight end Jason Witten said. "This is why you play, to be in these situations."

The Cowboys are enjoying their most pleasantly surprising season since 1992, when Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin went from up-and-comers to team to beat.

Like the '92 squad, Dallas came into this season expecting to be good, just not so good that it's rattled off a pair of five-game winning streaks around the lone loss, to undefeated New England. Expectations are now flying despite the team having gone 10 straight seasons without winning a playoff game.

"To see those really hard, lean years, and now to be part of the Dallas Cowboys on a positive side, it's a good feeling," said linebacker Greg Ellis, who arrived in 1998, when the postseason drought was only a year old.

Playing before a national audience on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys offered a pretty good primer for folks who haven't been watching with their 34-3 stomping of the New York Jets.

While it was far from their best performance, they were in control from the start and never relented. Romo didn't dominate, but still completed 75 percent of his passes and had two touchdowns. They ran for another score and had their most yards rushing all season. They didn't allow a touchdown for the first time and won by their widest margin.

"The goal is to continue to get better, continue to work," linebacker Bradie James said.

Taking care of business is never as easy as it sounds in the NFL. In this case, Dallas had to get fired up for a 2-8 team on a short week following a win over rival Washington that closed a 3-0 stretch against division foes. And right before the showdown with the Packers.

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