IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant was ready to play Philadelphia again as soon as the Eagles finished blowing out the Cowboys in a Thanksgiving battle for the NFC East lead.
At least the star Dallas receiver mentioned that a trip to Chicago comes first.
"I'm really not mad at all," Bryant said after Thursday's 33-10 loss, the third straight at home for Dallas. "They beat us. I'm going to accept that. But I cannot wait to go up there and play them again."
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has a unique challenge to his mantra of next practice, next day, next game. The Cowboys (8-4) were a bust in the first of two games against Philadelphia in 18 days, all the more reason to be anxious for a do-over.
The Bears (5-7) also were flattened on Thanksgiving, losing 34-17 at Detroit. Instead of the usual extra time off, both teams are playing the rare Thursday-to-Thursday set.
"We'd be saying the same thing if the outcome would've been the reverse," Garrett said. "We got to get focused on beating Chicago. We have to learn from this game, build on the good stuff, correct the bad. It wasn't perfect. Let's get back to work."
Tony Romo will get a normal week of rest for his surgically repaired back, which didn't appear to respond very well to the first quick turnaround since the December procedure to fix a herniated disk. He sustained a separate injury to the back a month ago on a sack against Washington.
Romo went down early on one third-down play with nobody in position to sack him, and didn't try to escape trouble a few other times on his way to four sacks, one shy of his season high.
"I thought there was a guy coming and I was probably wrong," said Romo, who had his worst passer rating of the season while the Cowboys were outgained by almost 200 yards. "That was a concession, but that was also because the way their defense guarded the play, more so than anything else."
Garrett said he didn't think Romo's back was the reason he threw two interceptions while a 38-game streak with at least one touchdown pass ended.
"Maybe bothered by a pass rush," Garrett said. "He's a human being. He's dealing with stuff. Everybody's dealing with stuff. He certainly missed some throws and just the overall environment, there were some tight throws he had to make."
If the Cowboys are tempted to look past the Bears, a quick history lesson will solve it. One of their two worst games from last season came in Chicago, a 45-28 loss after they trailed 42-14 early in the fourth quarter.
If Dallas finds a way to answer a sluggish showing in a game that started about 90 hours after a win at the New York Giants ended, the Cowboys will finally get the longer break to prepare for the rematch with the Eagles.
"We have the team that when we do it right, we can basically take where our personnel, where our assets are, where the talent is, and we have a team that can win games like this against Philadelphia," owner Jerry Jones said. "But certainly we didn't do it today and when we didn't, well, we got in trouble, and got in trouble good."
The Cowboys get another shot this time, unlike last year's season-ending loss to the Eagles with a playoff berth on the line.
"It's a minor setback," center Travis Frederick said after the game. "You feel it now and you'll probably feel it tonight and then tomorrow we move on."
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