'Boys are For Real

Now that the Cowboys are back among the league's elite, they have to prove they can stay there.

Many times in the past they have had signature victories only to follow them up with disappointing losses.

This time, the Cowboys say they are for real. It's based on the confidence inside the locker room. It's based on the performances on the field.

The Cowboys have the most explosive offense in the league. Quarterback Tony Romo is playing as well as any quarterback in the league, including Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Receiver Terrell Owens is a beast again. And running back Marion Barber is proving to be one of the league's top running backs.

Add that to a solid offensive line and a defense that is getting better and healthier with each passing game and the Cowboys believe they have what it takes to go all the way.

At 3-0, the Cowboys could easily be 5-0 heading into a showdown with the New England Patriots. They have the winless Rams and the winless Bills up the next two weeks.

But the key, according to coach Wade Phillips, is staying focused.

"We haven't accomplished anything except three games," Phillips said. "That's important that we've done that, but we have a long ways to go. I tell them to erase the last game no matter what. Just erase the last game and go. Just give me the same thing that you had each game, as far as preparation and the whole thing that I go over with them and what we want. I try to get the same concentration."

It's Phillips' job to warn the Cowboys about staying focused and not reading the press clippings. But he is confident this team will take care of its business based on how they have played and acted so far this season.

"I told them today, when I knew we were going to win the game against the Bears," Phillips said. "We got off the plane and two of the flight attendants came up to me and separately said to me, 'What did y'all do with those guys? They studied all the way on the plane.' That's when I knew that they wanted to win the game. They were disciplined enough and it was important enough to our players that they were studying on the plane, getting ready to play. And that's what I told them, and that's what I want them to do. I want them to be able to do it on their own. It wasn't (like) we told them on the plane, 'All right, you guys have to do this.' But as an example of, if you focus and concentrate, what you can do. We've got to continue to do that. I'm trying to get them to do that instead of saying, 'Hey, boy, we're successful. Season's over. Let's get the parade going and all that.'"

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