For writers and fans, that the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will square off in the last game of the season in a game with strong playoff implications seems an undeniably poetic bit of scheduling; the temptation to draw parallels to last season's 44-6 beating at Lincoln Financial is simply too strong to ignore, for most (ourselves included).
Will it be a redemptive win for Dallas, or a revisitation of disappointment? Can Dallas illustrate where they've been and where they're going in a sixty-minute span of football this weekend?
These are questions that will linger for the coming week, the answers to which will be shaped by the outcome of Sunday's game, an all-decisive rivalry game to end the regular season and determine the NFC East Champion.
For Dallas--and the local writers have taken note of this, to be sure--a win would, at least in the context of public perception, exorcise the demons of what was arguably the darkest day in Dallas Cowboys history: December 28, 2008--a 44-6 loss to swiftly put the kibosh on any hopes for the postseason.
According to the Cowboys themselves, though, the poetry of the situation is better left to the writers. Indeed, any mention of 44-6 is met with aloofness on the part of the players, who have adhered (for good reason) to a strict policy of taking the season a game at a time all year.
"That game is irrelevant," said defensive end Marcus Spears. "If it's not on our minds to go out and win a football game, no matter what happened last year, it's really a negative, it's disappointing. So using things like that, it's really irrelevant right now.
"That's for you guys to write about. For us, we've just got to go play the game."