Since 1990, when the current playoff format was implemented, only 22 of 169 teams that started 0-2 made the playoffs. The Cowboys did it in 1993, winning Super Bowl XXVIII after losses to Washington and Buffalo to begin the season. Of course, that was when Emmitt Smith came to the rescue, ending his holdout with a new contract after two games.
Wade Phillips was coaching the 1998 Buffalo Bills when they went 0-3 before a bye week only to rebound to win 10 of their last 13 and earn a playoff berth. They lost to the Dolphins in their first playoff game.
"It was similar in the fact that I thought we weren't terrible on offense and weren't terrible on defense and weren't terrible on special teams," Phillips said. "You have to draw from that experience, but it's still not the same team and same players."
The last time the Cowboys started 0-2 was in 2001 when they finished 5-11.
Of course stopping the slide this week won't be easy against the undefeated Houston Texans.
The Texans would love nothing more than to celebrate their own coming out party by burying and then dancing on the grave of their in-state rivals.
This game is an opportunity for the Texans to get out from under the Cowboys' shadow. Don't think they and their fans won't use that as part of their motivation.
--In addition to getting the first win of the season, Sunday's game against the Texans will have added importance in the Phillips family.
If the Cowboys beat the Texans on Sunday, it will be the 82nd career regular-season victory for Wade Phillips, putting him in a tie with his father, the legendary Bum Phillips, in career victories.
Bum Phillips was 82-77 with the Oilers and Saints. He was also 4-3 in the playoffs.
Wade Phillips is 81-56 in stints with the Cowboys, Bills, Broncos, Saints and Oilers. He is 1-5 in playoffs.