Yesterday was a very good day for the Cowboys. Despite struggling with mental mistakes in the first half, the Cowboys turned it up in the second half and clobbered the NY Giants 31-20. The win puts the Cowboys even more firmly on top of the NFC East at 8-1, now technically two games ahead of the 6-3 Giants, but in fact the win puts them ahead of the Giants even were the two teams to finish with the same record; the Giants would need to finish one game ahead of the Cowboys in wins to secure the NFC East, though that looks increasingly unlikely as the Giants struggle to play with consistency.
The Eagles also delivered a gift to the Cowboys by kneecapping the Redskins in a 33-25 win. The loss leaves the Redkins at 5-4 and further dampens their hopes of catching up to the Cowboys in the standings. A game in Dallas next week is a must win for the Redskins.
In other interesting results around the NFL, the Packers shut out Minnesota yesterday to go 8-1 in the race with the Cowboys for home-field advantage in the playoffs. Both teams will meet each other in another three weeks, in what should be an exciting game. The schizophrenic Arizona Cards rolled over the now 6-3 Detroit Lions, thus preserving their hopes of passing Seattle in the NFC West. The Colts lost for the second week in a row, this time to the Chargers, who hope to use the win to turn their season around. Pittsburgh held off Cleveland to further cement their lead in the AFC North.
As for the Mavs...well, they went out and lost a close one to Portland on Friday night. Supposedly the Mavs have adopted a new approach of not going crazy every time they lose a regular season game, instead preserving their players through the long and grueling season and working out the kinks, all with an eye to the playoffs. That sounds nice and all, but I'm not sure about the wisdom of such an approach when you play in a conference crowded with good teams, like the 6-1 Houston Rockets, the 6-1 San Antonio Spurs, and the 5-2 New Orleans Hornets. It's much more pleasant to imagine those powerhouses nipping at the heels of the Mavs for home-field advantage in the playoffs all through the season, than the reverse. But then, I don't coach an NBA team.