By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Dec 18, 2007 at 5:13 AM

First of all, I've got to talk about the way the Philadelphia Eagles game against the Dallas Cowboys ended Sunday.

There were two minutes or so left in the game and the Eagles led by four. Brian Westbrook broke wide open for a touchdown run. But, when he got to the one-yard line, he lay on the ground like a baby until a Dallas defender touched him.

This might have been the single smartest and classiest thing I've seen an athlete do in six decades of watching sports.

If Westbrook scores, the Eagles lead by 11 and it's a two-score game. Highly unlikely, but still possible. By laying down, Westbrook did the one thing that would seal the victory beyond all doubt: he kept the ball out of the Cowboys' hands.

The Eagles only had to take a knee three times and the game was over.

Now, the reason I was even watching the game was that my fingers were crossed as I hoped for a result just like this.

The loss means that Dallas and Green Bay are now tied with 12-2 records. If they end up tied, the Cowboys will have home-field advantage through the playoffs because they beat Green Bay a couple of weeks ago. So, what we hope for, of course, is that the Packers win their two remaining games and the Cowboys to lose at least one of theirs.

There are four teams in this mix. Carolina and Washington, which will each host Dallas, and Chicago and Detroit. Chicago hosts Green Bay Sunday and Detroit mercifully ends its season at Green Bay.

Now, let's assume the Packers, who seem to be getting better week-by-week, will win their two games.

What we are going to hear from the Green Bay camp is that they can't worry about what Dallas does. "We have to take care of our own business," is what the players and coaches will be saying.

Fair enough. All of us will worry plenty about what the Cowboys will do.

Right now, both weekends look huge. Dallas plays at Carolina next weekend and that shouldn't be too tough for the Cowboys. The Packers, however, play at Chicago. The usual trite phrase when these two teams meet is that "you can throw the record book out" for Packers-Bears games.

Well, for one of the rare times, that might actually be true. The Bears have plenty of incentive. They are angry that their season fell apart. They remember the Packers whipping their butts in the last game last season. And they would love to ruin the Packers' chances for home field advantage.

If the Packers get by Chicago, they should coast home against Detroit the following week.

If Dallas beats Carolina, the Cowboys are faced with traveling to Washington for the last game of the season. Dallas has lost its last two games in Washington and barely beat the Redskins in Dallas earlier this year. Plus, there's a chance that the Redskins could be playing for the final wild card berth.

In the game against the Eagles, the Cowboys showed some chinks in their armor. Tony Romo looked like an undrafted quarterback from Eastern Illinois. Terrell Owens looks like he's on the precipice of a pout. And Jerry Jones, with his "just-as-bad-as-Donald-Trump" hairdo, couldn't urge his team to victory despite a display of hand-clapping that was not seen since the last bluegrass festival you attended.

It's Christmas, the time for wishes wished, and wishes granted. Well, come on Santa, get with the Packers program. 

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.