EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – They walked off the field mostly in groups, smiling, laughing and listening.
A cluster of Cowboys' fans had gathered near the tunnel to the visitor's locker room at New Meadowlands Stadium, cheering, stomping and pleading for wristbands, gloves or towels, and the players were more than happy to oblige.
Five weeks of losing had ended with Sunday's 33-20 win against the New York Giants.
Yet as Jason Garrett walked through, six days after being named interim head coach following Wade Phillips' dismissal, a smile barely registered on his face. He accepted a firm handshake from one of the team doctors, and that was it.
"We got together on Wednesday morning and said, 'Hey, it starts now. Let's have great days. Let's be as good as we can be each and every day. Let's go about doing things the right way, everything we do, really every time we do it, and that will give us a chance,' " Garrett said. "I think our players understand that that's what we have to keep doing."
And that's why talk after the game was not about signing some wall inside the locker room the way Eli Manning had when the Giants opened Cowboys Stadium last year with a win. It was not about the 1-7 start to the season or players quitting or coaches being fired.
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