The Dallas Cowboys reversed a historical trend with a 24-0 win over Philadelphia in Arlington, their first win in a season finale in a decade. Should the Cowboys have any success from this point, it will be the first in a line of trend-reversals.
There's no doubt, if you're reading this blog, that you've heard about the Cowboys recent history with respect to the playoffs: three trips in the decade, three losses, three distinct brands of heartache for Dallasites.
That is, they haven't won a playoff game since 1996; but since you already knew that--and since the losses, to Carolina in 2003, Seattle in 2007 and New York in 2008, are probably still relatively memorable--we'll move on.
With the win, Dallas will face off against the Eagles for the third time this season, next week in the opening round of the playoffs; as you might have heard, Dallas won the first two. Therein lies the problem of historical improbability.
The Cowboys have never beaten a team three times in a season. If they pull off the feat this time, that curious mistress, "history," changes its tone a bit. Dallas is 2-1 against their green-clad rivals in the playoffs.
Each time they've met, the winner has gone on to the Super Bowl.