ARLINGTON, Texas — Nearly a half-hour after Brandon Carr snagged the interception to set up Dan Bailey’s game-winning field goal in overtime, not everyone in the Dallas Cowboys locker room had gotten the memo.
With their 27-24 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cowboys pulled into a three-way tie for first place in the wild NFC East.
“I am not a football authority right now,” said linebacker Victor Butler. “It’s pretty simple for me, like, ‘See football. Get football.’ “.
Butler said he had no idea that the division was knotted up at the top, given the events of Sunday that included the New York Giants’ loss at Atlanta.
He had no idea that the Giants had lost.
Jerry Jones surely knew.
“I don’t know if that’s what they called on, as much as not wanting to give it up,” said the team’s owner, mindful that a loss might have crushed the Cowboys’ playoff hopes.
At midseason, the Cowboys were 3-5.
“You can legitimately look at how it happened for the Giants last season,” Jones said, recalling New York’s trek from 7-7 to Super Bowl champions, “and it’s not unrealistic to think that it can happen to you.”.
Dallas (8-6) has gotten hot at the right time, winning five of its past six games. It can capture the NFC East title by winning against the New Orleans Saints and the season finale at the Washington Redskins.
“Our football team, we try to take care of our own business and let things fall as they may,” said quarterback Tony Romo, who passed for 341 yards and two TDs, with no picks on Sunday. “If you get too involved in the other stuff, that’s when you tend not to play your best.”.
It’s simple now. Just keep winning. Romo reminded teammates during the week that if the Cowboys can keep it close in the end, they have demonstrated an ability of late to win in crunch time.
That happened again on Sunday. And they don’t need a memo advising them of the alternative.
As tight end Jason Witten put it last week, “We’ve got to win ’em all. We’ve been saying that for weeks. It’s tough to try to play and think, ‘What did New York do today?’ I’m sure they’re not worried about us, either.”.