To be sure, it was a long and arduous road, but the Cowboys have finally found some credibility in the form of national media attention.
When the last seconds ran off the clock in the Superdome on Saturday December, 19, the final score reading Cowboys 24, Saints 17, Dallas was legitimized in the eyes of experts and analysts across the country. This is remarkable only because, seemingly, each of Dallas's previous wins in 2009 were met with dismissal. "Yeah, they won...But they were playing [insert crap team here]."
(In fairness, the Cowboys did play a slew of really bad teams.)
It took around 15 weeks, but Dallas has quietly slid into discussions of potential Super Bowl contenders. Case in point: Deion Sanders, on the NFL Network, recently took part (with his NFLN brethren) in a sort of Cowboys love-in, as chronicled by Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News' Sports Media Blog.
(One should note that Deion Sanders, as well as most of the country, gave the NFC East a snowball's chance in hell to do anything past January only a few weeks ago.)
Steve Mariucci lauded the play of Tony Romo, saying, "[He] is playing as well as any quarterback in the NFL." Which is absolutely true.
Deion would go a step further, making a bold prediction as to one of the participants in this year's championship game. Basically, Deion said, look for the winner of Sunday's division title-decisive NFC East showdown between Dallas and Philadelphia to be one the two last teams standing in February.
"One of those two teams will go to the Super Bowl," Sanders said flatly.
It's certainly nice to see the Cowboys get some love on national airwaves; but it's hopeful the team itself doesn't watch NFL Network. As Bill Parcells might say, no need to start eating the cheese now.