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December 27, 2012

Jason Witten: "It can't be the same old story"

Jason Witten said soon after arriving in Oxnard, Calif., for training camp that this year "can't be same old story." The Cowboys now get a chance to prove it.

They play a winner-take-all game against the Redskins on Sunday. They lost in the same situation to the Giants last season, 31-14.

"It can’t be the same old story," Witten said Thursday. "It’s hard to get in this situation and play for a division title. It’s a great opportunity for us. Hopefully, those past experiences have helped develop us, so we can be better in this situation. But it is, it’s a different experience. Obviously, different opponent, and it’s going to be a tough challenge."

In the final game of the regular season, the Cowboys are only 2-10 dating to 2000. That is the worst record in the league. They lost a win-or-go-home game to the Eagles, 44-6, in 2008. The Cowboys have won two of their past three regular-season finales, though, including a 24-0 victory over the Eagles in 2009 that clinched the Cowboys the NFC East title.

"It comes down to execution," Witten said. "I don’t think the stage is too big for us. We just haven’t won those games [against the Eagles in 2009 and Giants last season]. No excuses. But I do think that experience together as a core group of guys that hopefully we’re better because of that. Does that mean it’s going to be easier to win a game? No, because [Robert] Griffin and that crew, they don’t care about our past experiences, and why should they? But we feel like we’re confident in going up there, and obviously we’ve got a lot of respect for them as an opponent."

-- Charean Williams



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