By Clark Judge, CBS Sports

NEW YORK (CBS SPORTS) – Don’t tell me the Dallas Cowboys don’t have the players to win the NFC East. They do. In fact, they were in a perfect position a year ago to claim the division for the second time in three years. But they didn’t, and they didn’t because they couldn’t win their season finale versus the New York Giants, and because they lost four of their last five starts. Basically, the Cowboys blew it with missed field goals, blown leads and poor play, punctuating a descent that had them finish 8-8, with an 0-4 record against the Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

Afterward, owner Jerry Jones pledged support for embattled coach Jason Garrett, and that’s good. The guy needed someone to stand behind him. Now he needs a defense to rely on, and last year’s unit didn’t qualify. It ranked 23rd versus the pass and 16th in points allowed. Worse, it blew five fourth-quarter leads.

The Cowboys haven’t had a winning season in two years, losing 19 of their last 33 starts, and that must change. Garrett knows it. He was hired to put this team back on its feet, and this is his chance. Again.

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