I've been a years-long critic of my team, the Dallas Cowboys. So much that I'd come to believe they would never impress me again, would never succeed in any real way, again. I believed it was a systemic problem -- starting from the top -- of lack of focus, discipline, drive and ambition, and personal pride in one's work. Yesterday at the end of the game, when Dallas was taking the last three snaps in Victory formation, it happened. I felt pride again, felt the old faith returning and finally had respect for this team and its player personnel. They shut out the Philadelphia Eagles. The highest scoring Philadelphia Eagles team in history. Left with a great big goose egg on the scoreboard. And as I watched the three "take a kneel" snaps, I noticed the Eagle players were making no effort at all to attack, go for the ball, take any cheap shots, talk any smack, what have you. They were standing up, shaking hands with Dallas players and speaking well wishes. They showed class. Respect. Tony Romo is the only quarterback in the history of the Dallas franchise to take every snap of the season. Think about that -- every snap. In 50 years and with history of such tough sumbitches as Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, no one's ever done that. It's never happened. This is the first Dallas team ever to record consecutive shutouts. Ever. Not Doomsday I or II, not Jimmy's "upfield pressure" defenses of the 90s, not any Dallas team has done that. This was the first shutout of the Philadelphia Eagles in 14 years. 14 years. Yesterday, while the radio and TV commentators were wondering why Dallas and Philadelphia's starters were still in the game with 8 minutes left, I was smiling, admiring the no quarter given or expected attitude of the two coaching staffs. And remembering this is what the rivalry has always been about -- fight to the very, bitter end. If this team can earn the respect of the Philadelphia Eagles, they deserve mine. And now they have it, and they have restored my faith in them -- to a point. For the first time since the 90s, I have a optimistic view of their chances. That was a very hard thing for this team to earn, but they have done so. Playoffs, here we come! GO COWBOYS!