Questions about whether the Cowboys could finally win a playoff game in 13 years have turned into questions about whether the Cowboys can make a Super Bowl run for the first time in 14 years.
That's how good Dallas looked in unleashing fury and frustration on the Philadelphia Eagles in a 34-14 victory in the wild-card playoffs.
The Cowboys have won four straight games, including the last three by a combined score of 75-14, and go into the divisional playoff matchup Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings playing as well as any team in the league.
"The demons are gone!" owner Jerry Jones exclaimed in the postgame locker room.
"We really do know that as a team the challenge we've got going up to Minnesota. We've got a chance to beat Minnesota. We beat Minnesota, something special can happen here," Jones said.
There is a sense that something special is about to happen after all the negative things that have happened to the Cowboys in the playoffs since 1996 were buried in a barrage of points against the Eagles.
The Cowboys scored on five straight drives in the second quarter to blow the game open and take a 27-7 lead at halftime.
Felix Jones sprinted 73 yards to the end zone in the third quarter to turn the game into a celebration for this Cowboys team.
Quarterback Tony Romo no longer has to hear about his playoff foibles. He dropped a snap on a potential game-winning field goal attempt in the wild-card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. He threw an interception on the final play in the divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants in 2007.
Now he is headed to Minnesota looking to take another step toward taking his place in the championship lineage of legendary Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.
"It's just ... it's rewarding," Romo said. "It makes me proud of the guys in there, fighting, grinding, staying committed to the approach. I'm happy for the guys, happy for (coach) Wade (Phillips), happy for Jerry. It's a step."
Not only was it a game-changer and perception changer for Romo but it was that as well for coach Wade Phillips.
No more does Phillips have to hear about being the winningest coach in the NFL without a playoff win. Phillips was 0-3 before Saturday's win.
Now he's looking to do what his father, the legendary Bum Phillips, couldn't do: kick the door in on a Super Bowl run.
"It feels great for Tony and I, it takes a lot off of us, even though we weren't here in 1996," said a giddy Phillips, who celebrated the moment when linebacker Keith Brooking pretended to lift a giant monkey off his back.
"It means more for our team and our fans. We don't have to hear we haven't won a playoff game. We are on a roll. We are still going strong."
TRENDING: The win was also the first postseason victory for Wade Phillips as a head coach. He is now 1-4 in playoff games and 1-1 as the head coach for Dallas.
Cowboys postseason history. Ron Widby (65 yards vs. Detroit, 12/26/70)
has the club record and McBriar owns the second-longest (62 yards at
Seattle, 1/6/07). McBriar's five punts downed inside the 20-yard line established a club single-game postseason record through 1976.