12:05 PM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas — By the time the Dallas Cowboys got home from Baltimore early in the morning on Dec. 9, they were a broken team.
They were emotionally spent from the sudden death of strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul on Nov. 25 and physically beaten down after the 34-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, their sixth defeat in seven games.
At 3-9, their season looked over from any angle possible. Tanking became a topic. A high first-round 2021 NFL draft pick seemed like a sure thing.
Their defense could not stop anyone. Their offense scored more than 17 points once in that seven-game span. Their special teams were making too many mistakes with some ill-timed decisions.
“We look totally different than we did two months ago,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said.
On Sunday, they