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Dallas Cowboys news and notes

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There's no doubt the bye week came at the perfect time. Players were injured, depressed and quite fankly playing bad football. The week off has given the players and coaches time to reflect and look forward to a fresh start.

"For us, it's a new season," Thomas said. "We've got seven games and we've got to start playing together...fast"

There no doubt that this week's game is a make or break game. The Cowboys have to approach each week as if it's a playoff game because there is absolutely no margin for error. Unless things just turn upside down in the NFC, right now I'm a believer that for the Cowboys to absolutely assure themselves a playoff spot they need to go 6-1 the final seven games. A loss to the Redskins would seriously hurt those chances.

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Kevin Sherrington pumps out another "Wade Phillips is too soft" article.

At some point we are all going to have to admit that Wade Phillips is who he is and will never change. I prefer to read Grizz's press conference transcripts instead of watching them because his "aw shucks" attitude is starting to really bug me. Perhaps it's because this team is fighting for a playoff spot and it's downfall has been absolutely maddening. As fans all we want to see in our team is the same passion we put into them, and it pisses us off when the coach treats the team like a pop warner gathering of underachievers.

Yet Wade Phillips will always be the same. We just have to hope that the team can somehow figure out themselves, cause he sure won't pound any sense into them.

Here's what he had to say Monday when asked if he had any special instruction for rookie cornerback Mike Jenkins, who, among other sins, didn't so much as give Derrick Ward a hard glance on his touchdown run in New Jersey:

"Players sometimes think it's all negative from coaches and you gotta watch that. It can go the other way. We try to talk about positive things, too."

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The Star-Telegram has a breakdown of the Cowboys playoff chances.

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The Cowboys know that these games have more meaning than they did last year.

"When you're 8-1, you have a little room to move, and you can deal with situations," tight end Jason Witten said. "At this point in the season, we understand there's not a lot of room for error."

It's also good to see that one of the players realizes what it will take to get in the playoffs.

"I've been 10-6 before and not made the playoffs," [Zach Thomas] said. "I can guarantee you on 11-5. I don't know any team that's been 11-5 and not made it, if you want to count it up. But I don't try and look at it like that. I just know we've got to get playing better."

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Felix Jones expects to be back on the field Wednesday.

Asked if he could have practiced Monday, Jones said: "Yeah, I felt like I could have, but rest is more important. I feel like Wednesday I will be out there ready to go, and I'm feeling good."

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Quote of the day:

"Well, you've got to get on a run in this league. We were able to last year, and this year we started out [that way] and didn't keep it going. We've got a chance to come back." - Wade Phillips, commenting on the key to the offenses success.