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November 05, 2012

There is one reason for optimism: The schedule

The Cowboys are 3-5. They will have to go at least 6-2, and possibly 7-1 to make the postseason. It is asking a lot except for one reason: The schedule is set up for them to get on a run.

There is no doubt this week's game at Philadelphia is make-or-break. It is a must-win, if ever there was a must-win at the midway point of an NFL season.

"We have been looking at every as a must-win," Cowboys safety Danny McCray said. "We all want to go 16-0. But it's urgent now. We have lost the last two. We need to get a win under our belts, so we can get this going in the right direction.

"We had a sense of urgency the last three or four weeks. We just haven't gotten it done. Hopefully, this is that week."

If the Cowboys win this week, they could get on a winning streak, with the Browns, Redskins and Eagles at home over the next three weeks after the trip to Philadelphia.

Their first-half opponents, including the Giants twice, are 42-21. They’re remaining eight opponents, including the Redskins and Eagles twice, were 24-40 before the Eagles’ Monday night game against New Orleans. The Steelers (5-3) are the only opponent left on the schedule that has a winning record.

“I feel like we’ve played some good opponents,” Garrett said. “If you look at the opponents we’ve played the five losses that we have are against all good football teams. I think three of them at their place. We’ve done some things that would make you think we could win those ball games. Ultimately, we didn’t get the job done.

“…But there are a lot of teams that are close. You’ve got to finish the job. You got to win the game. I think we can look back at those games and say, ‘Boy, if we done this, this or this, we would’ve won this ball game.’ We’ve got to make sure we do that the next time around.”

-- Charean Williams

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