Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones can’t help but think about the New York Giants going from 7-7 to a Super Bowl title last season.
It probably wouldn’t hurt to remind him that the Green Bay Packers had a defense that overcame injuries and won a championship a year earlier – at his stadium, no less.
“You can legitimately look at how the Giants played last year, what they did at the end of the year and how they took it all the way,” Jones said after Dallas beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in front of thousands of Terrible Towel-waving fans at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. “And that’s not unrealistic to think that that can happen to you.”
Dallas is tied for the NFC East lead after winning three straight games and five of six, and for the first time in weeks doesn’t need help to reach the playoffs.
The Cowboys (8-6) are in if they beat New Orleans on Sunday at home and win at Washington in two weeks.
The game against the Redskins could end up looking a lot like last season’s finale, when the Giants beat the Cowboys with a playoff berth on the line.
The Green Bay connection is even more striking. The Cowboys have lost about as many defenders as the Packers did when they beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl after the 2010 season.
Yet somehow, the Cowboys keep winning, even with heavy hearts for a fallen teammate.
Josh Brent won’t return this season following his arrest on an intoxication manslaughter charge in the one-car accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown.
“You never know how you’re going to handle situations when you’re dealt with adversity like we had last week,” said tight end Jason Witten. “Everyone handled it professionally. Yeah, we were emotional. We stayed together and stayed focused.”
Redskins LB blames security for arrests
Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher blames security workers at Cleveland Browns Stadium for a confrontation that left several of his relatives arrested and an aunt hospitalized.
Fletcher on Monday said his large family contingent in Redskins gear witnessing his first NFL game in his hometown was harassed by fans, but he said security that was supposed to diffuse the situation instead became “instigators.”
A Cleveland police spokeswoman says five people were arrested for assault on a police officer, aggravated rioting and resisting arrest but have not been officially charged.
Around the league
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he’s still waiting for the OK from the doctors before declaring Robert Griffin III can return. … Redskins tackle Jordan Black was suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. … A Pennsylvania prosecutor said that his investigation into the fatal heroin overdose of Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, revealed there were steroids in his room the day he died. But there was no evidence steroids played a role in his death, nor that he was providing steroids to players.