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Cowboys must win must-win games

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Time to start talking about the San Francisco 49ers, the next obstacle on the Cowboys Road to Redemption. Last week we felt like it was a must-win game because the difference between 5-5 and 6-4 in the standings is significant, so keeping pace was a huge objective last week. We also needed to re-capture some of our swagger, get the confidence back that we are a good football team.  It was a division game against a huge rival. More reasons we had to win.

So what about this week? Is every Cowboys game a must-win from here on out? Not technically, if the Cowboys go 5-1 over the next six weeks they would certainly make the playoffs. So they could lose a game and still assure a playoff birth. Even losing two and finishing at 10-6, it's still feasible to make the playoffs although the odds go down in comparison.

So again, is this Sunday a must-win? I say yes, because it's against a team with a losing record playing at our house, and that means you have to win. These are the kinds of games where you have to pocket the ‘w' if you want to make a serious playoff run. The Cowboys still have to go to Pittsburgh and Philly, and host the Giants and the Ravens at Texas Stadium. Going 4-0 against that group is a daunting task. It can be done, but realistically going 3-1 is probably the best you can expect. The Cowboys need to go 5-1 down this stretch for a sure-fire playoff birth. Winning at home against a 3-7 team Sunday, and next week against a team that is currently 2-8, is imperative.

More on San Fran, Felix Jones the return of Pacman after the jump.

Tony Romo and San Fran QB Shaun Hill are both undrafted free agents. I guess the 49ers would like to have that #1 pick back they spent on Alex Smith. Hill is gaining a reputation as a "gamer."

The 49ers website gives a generic review of the Cowboys. 

If you want to keep up with the 49ers from a great blogger's perspective, head on over to Niners Nation, where Fooch and is crew do a bang-up job covering the team by the bay.

Back in our own backyard, the Felix Jones saga has taken a turn, and it doesn't look like for the good. After the initial excitement of his return to practice, we're learning that he has a toe injury that could be serious.

But despite returning to practice on Wednesday, Jones is also dealing with a toe injury that occurred last week during his rehab, according to team sources.

[snip]

There is a fear at Valley Ranch that the latest setback, coupled with the initial hamstring injury, could spell the end of Jones' rookie season.

WTF? This is not the news we were hoping to hear about El Gato. I was all set for his return until Wade cryptically referred to "other things" concerning Felix instead of just the hamstring in yesterday's press conference. Now a toe injury that is possibly season-threatening? We just can't catch a break from these injuries.

But we are getting someone back from the sort-of injury list. Adam Jones, suffering from the dreaded injury of "inability to use common sense" will return to the Cowboys after serving his suspension for the hilariously named "Brawl in the Stall."

It's one thing to not like AJ's actions and not want him to return to the team. But it's another to just say stupid stuff in an attempt to defend your position.

Think about it: What did Pacman show us during the six games he played before he was suspended following a scuffle with a member of his own security team at a trendy downtown hotel?

Not much.

He certainly wasn't as good as advertised. He was a bad punt returner and an average cornerback.

Well, for my part, he was the Cowboys best cornerback on the field for the games that he played. He was really the only one making plays consistently and even created a turnover. With Terence Newman back healthy, he's probably not the best corner on the field anymore, but his talent is certainly as good as or better than any other corner on the roster. And he did make plays

Despite missing the past four games, Jones still leads the Cowboys with 11 pass deflections.

As for the punt returner part, I'll grant that he was not performing well at that spot. But surely it must be acknowledged that he has the skill-set to excel at that position. He needs to quit running away from his blocking; he keeps trying to hit the home-run on every return instead of just letting it come to him. Trust your blocking AJ, and you might eventually find that crease you're looking for and go all the way.

If you want to here AJ's attorney blather on about stuff, go here

Also, Bobby Carpenter and Isaiah Stanback are practicing again.