Tuesday news and notes

The Cowboys vanquished one demon on Sunday by beating the Eagles and ending the season on a three-game winning streak.

Dallas also won its season-finale for first time since 1999 and had a winning record after Thanksgiving for the first time since 1996.

Now they take on the mother of all Cowboys demons, winning a playoff game.

Most fans know by now the Cowboys haven't won a playoff game since 1996 and that Wade Phillips has never won a playoff game as a head coach. They face D-Day on Saturday with a first-round home playoff game against the Eagles.

"Didn't win in December or something," Phillips said mockingly. "Who knows? Gee. I just don't believe in those things. I just think each team's different and if you make a run and win them all, you've won a lot.

"This team hasn't won in the playoffs," he said, "but they haven't lost in the playoffs."

The Cowboys face the Eagles for a third time. They swept the regular- season series and now must win the trifecta.

They know it will be hard.

But they also believe in themselves. The Cowboys are the hottest team in the NFC playoffs and they are confident they will finally make a deep run in the postseason.

And the Cowboys say the key is getting that first win.

"I feel good about this first game and we're looking forward to that one," Phillips said. "We don't look beyond that."

The Cowboys have the task of trying to beat the Eagles for the third time this season. They know that will be a tall task. In 2007, the Cowboys beat the Giants twice in the regular season and then lost to them in the playoffs. That also happened to the Cowboys against Arizona in 1999 when they won the regular season series but lost in the playoffs.

It has happened 19 times in NFL history, and 12 times there has been a three-game sweep.

"I'd rather be the team that's won twice and played at home than the team that's lost twice and has to play on the road," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said.

* The NFL won't announce the dates and times for games on the 2010 schedule until April, but the teams the Cowboys will play next season have been set.

They'll play home games against the New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Tennessee and New Orleans. They play road games against the New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis and Arizona.

* There is a common assumption that the Eagles held back in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys. The Cowboys expect them to make changes for the rematch on Saturday. They expect the Eagles to blitz a lot more.

"We've played some teams that have blitzed against us and have had trouble," Phillips said. "I don't have any control over what they do, but sometime you look at it and you blitz Romo and Miles Austin gets free for a big, big play. We handle the blitz pretty well, and I don't know that people will go into the game saying, 'Hey we want to blitz them all the time.' "They can do what they want to do, but I think Tony's pretty good against the blitz. We'll see. If they blitz more, they blitz more."

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