ARLINGTON, Texas - Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys came out with a sense of urgency, as though they had something to accomplish.
They wound up having a great weekend that put them back in first place in the NFC East.
And yet, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is approaching this Saturday's game against the Eagles with trepidation.
"Well, after what happened to us in Philadelphia, there's no confidence," Jones said after the Cowboys won at Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
"I used to - when one of my classmates in grade school did what they did to us up there - I walked around the other side of the school. I'm leery of them and we should be leery of them. It's going to be all we can do to really get out there at Cowboys Stadium and play."
Dallas (8-6) reclaimed the division lead by a game over the New York Giants with two to play. A week after winning at Cowboys Stadium, New York (7-7) lost at home Sunday to Washington knowing the Cowboys had already won at Tampa Bay the previous night, 31-15.
Next up are the Eagles (6-8).
"We just can't let up," receiver Dez Bryant said. "We know where we want to go and it don't matter who comes in here, we're going to keep the same intensity and just play hard and hopefully we can win out . . . We just got to keep focusing and keep playing hard."
Coach Jason Garrett if beating the Bucs gave the Cowboys a boost.
"It doesn't matter to us. What we are focused on is our football team," Garrett said. "Again, processing this game [against Tampa] and going forward is the challenge we have this week against Philadelphia."
One thing that hasn't changed is that the Cowboys can clinch the division by winning their last two regular-season games - or with a win Saturday in their home finale against the Eagles combined with a Giants loss to the Jets. Dallas finishes the season on the road New Years' Day against the Giants.
"We are a very confident team," said tight end Jason Witten "I don't think we look at it as 'Hey, we win two we get in.' I think we just take it 1 day at a time, one week at a time.
"Obviously, Philly got us good earlier in the year and they are coming to our place. It is going to be a tough challenge and that is where our focus is."
While there is a clear-cut way to get to the playoffs, the Cowboys have already lost this season to both the Eagles and Giants, who combined for 71 points and 1,005 total yards. That included a 34-7 loss against the Eagles at the end of October before Dallas swept through November with four consecutive wins.
Then came December, when the Cowboys lost in overtime at Arizona and blew a 12-point lead over the final 5 1/2 minutes in a 37-34 loss to the Giants.
So the victory over Tampa came at just the right time.
"It's a big win for us [because] we know about the December woes," Witten said. "The only way to put that behind you is to get a big win."