IRVING, Texas (AP) – The Dallas Cowboys are in the same situation they were a year ago, atop the NFC East with a 7-4 record and headed to play the division rival New York Giants.
Still, things are different this time. Mainly the Cowboys’ confidence.
“Right now, it’s obviously we’re definitely playing the best ball we’ve been playing all year,” linebacker Bradie James said Wednesday. “We’ve been in this position before. You don’t get too many opportunities to become No. 1. That’s what this game is about.”
The Cowboys head to the Meadowlands on Sunday with a three-game winning streak and wins in four of their last five games, all since Tony Romo became the starting quarterback. His first extended action was after halftime in the game before that, a home loss to the Giants.
When the Cowboys went to New York last year, they were coming off a Thanksgiving Day overtime loss against Denver.
This year, Dallas won its traditional holiday game when Romo matched a team record with five touchdown passes in a 38-10 victory over Tampa Bay. That came only four days after Romo outplayed Peyton Manning and the Cowboys handed Indianapolis its only loss of the season.
“There is a lot of confidence building around this team right now,” tight end Jason Witten said. “We’re just excited. We’re playing well, not turning the ball over. Everybody’s expectations are up right now.”
Only the Chicago Bears (9-2) have more wins than the Cowboys in the NFC. Dallas has a one-game lead over the Giants in the NFC East.
“Guys are just focused more, not to say last year we weren’t,” defensive end Marcus Spears said. “I think the magnitude of what we can do now and how we can set ourselves up in the future and hopefully getting into the playoffs, I think it’s important and it’s prevalent. The air is thick right now.”
In the past five games, the Cowboys have only three turnovers: a fumble and two interceptions.