Cowboys poised for a big finish, or a big flop

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IRVING, Texas (AP) -- With five games left in the regular season, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have set themselves up for a big finish.

Or, a big flop.

The Cowboys returned from a long weekend Monday holding a four-game winning streak, a lead in the NFC East and a clear route to the playoffs. Their challenge is living up to the expectations they've raised.

Recent history is mixed, but tilting toward optimism.

Romo is 9-10 in regular-season games after Thanksgiving regular-season games, but he went 3-2 in his last chance, then followed with the first playoff win of his career. Last season, with Romo hurt and the Cowboys out of the playoff hunt, then-interim coach Jason Garrett guided them to another 3-2 finish.

Dallas (7-4) plays at Arizona on Sunday.