They parted with Terrell Owens, Tank Johnson, Greg Ellis, Pacman Jones and safety Roy Williams in the offseason. As a whole, the moves were considered addition by subtraction. In some way, they were distracting.
If you want to point to one reason for the Cowboys' success this season, the selflessness of the roster is a good place to start. The team's chemistry has improved. They have a better sense of team than in past year. The tight-knit group is making plays in tight games as the Cowboys are in the midst of a four-game winning streak and sit atop the NFCE East.
"I think they have a good feeling together," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "We have enough young people with veterans. If you want to talk chemistry or whatever, I think we have that with this team. We're not a big ego team. We're kind of a selfless team. But we'll find out more now with everyone telling them they're great. But I think they'll handle it."
Linebacker Bradie James said the sense of community began in training camp. He said that was evident in crunch time against the Eagles Sunday.
"This year, so far, has been definitely the best team atmosphere," James said. "With the characters we have on this team, guys are really just playing for one another, understanding the goals we have, sticking by each other's side. You want to know as players what you can count on and who you can rely on when the funk hits the fan and we know that we can definitely rely on each other."
MONDAY NOTES: WR Miles Austin was held without a catch into the fourth quarter against the Eagles. He hauled in a 49-yard touchdown reception. He has a receiving touchdown in four straight games, the longest streak by a Dallas pass-catcher since Terrell Owens had a touchdown in seven straight games in 2007.
"They doubled him some which we hadn't seen, but a lot of the time he was open, it just wasn't the read that Tony (Romo) had," Phillips said. "I feel good about him being consistent in that he is running good routes and he is hard to cover."Hopefully, we will hit him some more times when he has those openings."
Austin had 49 receiving yards against the Eagles to give him 531 over the previous four games -- the third-most over a four-game span in team history. Terrell Owens had 575 yards between Oct. 21 and Nov. 18 in '07 and 537 from Nov. 4-22 that season.
* The Cowboys signed cornerback Jamar Love to the practice squad Monday. Love originally signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent on April 30. He was released by the Patriots in August 2009 and signed with British Colombia of the CFL on October 22 where he remained until his release on November 6. He played four years for Arkansas and recorded 77 tackles and 15 pass breakups in 42 games with nine starts. The Cowboys needed another body at cornerback to practice with after Mike Mickens was signed off the practice squad by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.