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(Dallas owner Jerry) Jones dished out $85-million in bonuses this year, but even one of sports' most involved owners could not have paid for a better opponent for Sunday, one with an unsettling propensity to self-destruct at inopportune moments, just like the Cowboys do. That's why there was nothing particularly impressive about the Cowboys' 13-9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, except that it wasn't another loss and it will soothe, for at least a week, the panic that had descended on Dallas.

Judy Batiste, New York Times

The Cowboys offense was once again miserable, but the guys in black and white still managed to march the Cowboys downfield for a winning touchdown. Question. Do officials count against a team's salary cap? You might beat Dallas, but you will never beat those boys in the striped shirts. Enough is enough.

Robert C. Gilley, Tampa

Doomsday Defense, indeed. Were it not for a show of Cowboys defensive muscle Sunday against Tampa Bay, doomsday might have been descending upon Dallas for real by nightfall. That's how big the Cowboys' inartistic 13-9 win over the Bucs was in the grand scheme of things. Another Dallas loss would have just about set off Armageddon - at least the deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas version of it.

And no, we're not overstating things a bit. After the dizzying events of the past four weeks, Dallas was desperate for any kind of victory. Beating the Bucs qualifies as doomsday avoided.

Don Banks,