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Cowboys Take A Step Forward; Now To Avoid Taking Two Steps Back

Two months after their last victory the Dallas Cowboys finally get things headed back in the right direction. Good to be sure, but a bigger battle lies ahead.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are still undefeated on the 2015 season, at least when Tony Romo is the starting quarterback. The team emerged from the darkness that was the Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel Era, and once again they are able to bask in the momentary glow of success. With the timing of this week's game they will have little opportunity to revel in victory because the annual Thanksgiving Day contest looms on the immediate horizon. A few hours will have to do in spite of the extended wait that the team and its fans endured.

For now there is a bit of excitement in the air. Even with two months off, Tony Romo did look like Tony Romo at times. Who else but #9 would get things rolling by completing a pass thrown with the wrong arm? Romo was able to escape a safety and dump a pass off to Darren McFadden with his left hand. Romodini lives again! The naysayers, of course, will also point to Romo's pair of interceptions and concur that yes, it did look like vintage Tony. For now Cowboys fans do not care. The team won. After seven straight losses, Cowboys fans would have been satisfied to win a game where the only score was a safety. The trick for Dallas is to build on what happened in South Florida.

Thursday's game will not be an easy contest for the Cowboys. It is tough to win given the short turnaround, but that impacts both squads. A bigger concern will be the opponent for that contest.  My colleague, Rabblerousr, recently referred to the Carolina Panthers as the best team on the Dallas schedule this season. I tend to agree. The Panthers have a tough defense, a quarterback who can hurt you in multiple ways, and they are riding on the same wave of success that carried the Cowboys into the playoffs last year. The challenge is there for the team, but they are going to have to rise to the occasion to meet it.

Champions find ways to elevate themselves in situations like this. Last season I would have been willing to say the Cowboys had that type of mettle. I believe they still do, but even firing on all cylinders, this would be a tough game. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Will the Dallas Cowboys be able to pick it up and meet the next opportunity? That is the topic that we will be discussing over the short week ahead. At least we will be so on the heels of victory.

It feels good doesn't it?

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