Eagles
Cowboys
10 - 6 Final
  for this game

McNabb, Eagles deny Cowboys

Dec 17, 2007 - 3:24 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

IRVING, Texas (Ticker) -- For the second year in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles have spoiled the Dallas Cowboys' holiday plans.

One year after beating them on Christmas Day in Texas Stadium, the Eagles came into the Cowboys' home again and posted a 10-6 victory Sunday.

The Cowboys (12-2) had already secured a playoff first-round bye before they even took the field following Seattle's 13-10 loss to Carolina, but they lost a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

A 21-yard field goal by David Akers, his second of the day, early in the fourth quarter, sealed the game for Philadelphia (6-8), which snapped a three-game losing streak and kept their slim postseason hopes alive by shutting down the potent Dallas offense.

Brian Westbrook rushed for 81 yards on 18 carries and caught nine balls for 63 yards, and he brought the game to a stunning conclusion.

After breaking free for an apparent touchdown that would have made it 17-6, Westbrook intentionally slid to the ground at the 2:00 warning.

"Team guy and very brilliant guy," Eagles coach Andy Reid said of Westbrook's maneuver. "He is able to take that Villanova education and transfer that onto the football field. That was fantastic."

With the Cowboys out of timeouts, all Philadelphia had to do was take a knee three times to run out the clock.

"I wanted him to score," said Eagles offensive lineman William Thomas of Westbrook. "At the end of the day, that was the right call. I thought it would have been funny if he would have fell and still scored. It was good to see him break out. That was a good play by him, it was a great heads-up play."

Dallas had not scored fewer than 25 points in a game all season before this game, but the Eagles held the dynamic combination of quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Terrell Owens in check all day.

"Offensively, it was mistake after mistake," Dallas coach Wade Phillips said. "We had an opportunity to make plays, we had opportunities to get ahead and certainly win the game, but we didn't end up doing it."

With Jessica Simpson watching from a luxury box, Romo threw three interceptions and completed just 13-of-36 passes, while clearly bothered by a troublesome thumb on his throwing hand.

"I think I hit it on a helmet," Romo said of his thumb. "I threw the ball, so if I can throw it at some point, I can throw it next time. I think the Eagles did a great job tonight. They had a really good scheme tonight and they did a good job and put a lot of defensive pressure on us.

"We didn't handle it as well as we've been. It's frustrating because I played poorly and I wished I had played better and I take the blame for some of it."

As poorly as the offense performed, the Cowboys were still in position to win the game late. Romo led them downfield in the final minutes, converting a 4th-and-2 pass to tight end Jason Witten to keep their final, last-gasp drive alive until Brian Dawkins intercepted him at the Philadelphia 45-yard line with 2:50 remaining.

"That's awesome, even banged up, he just battled like crazy and did a great job all the way around today," Reid said of Dawkins. "That just put the icing on the cake."

Owens, who torched the Eagles to the tune of 10 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting between these teams - a 38-17 Dallas victory on November 4 - had no catches through three quarters and just two overall for 37 yards. Witten did come up with eight receptions for 113 yards, his second straight 100-yard day.

"We just came out flat and couldn't get anything going offensively," said Owens, who was shadowed all game by Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard. "There were some opportunities, but they just did a good job defensively. I didn't get too frustrated to the point it took me out of the game, but I felt like there were some opportunities there and we just didn't connect on them."

"I definitely don't think they were expecting it," said Sheppard, whose interception late in the second quarter led to the Eagles' only touchdown. "It was an all-out effort from the whole defense. I wouldn't have been able to do it without the D-Line getting good pressure, the safety clouding at times and getting good looks."

The Eagles also nullified the Cowboys' running game, limiting them to 53 total yards on the ground. Dallas also was just 2-for-13 on third-down conversions.

"That was a team effort, as far as pressure on the quarterback, turnovers, stopping the run," Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jimmie Johnson said. "I think our linebackers did a great job, our front two, stopping the run. This is one of the better offensive teams, they're second in the NFL, so you know how good they are, and that's a tribute to our defense."

But Dallas wide receiver Patrick Crayton, who caught two passes for 54 yards, refused to give the Philadelphia defense credit for the Cowboys' offensive woes.

"We didn't execute - it's never about what a team does to you, it's about what you do," Crayton said. "When they give you the looks, what do you do to correct it and fix it. 'OK, they gave us this the first game, they took that away, now they're giving us something else.' All you got to do is adjust. We didn't execute, that's all there is to it."

For the Eagles, Donovan McNabb threw for 208 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 53 yards on nine carries.

"He took a couple of hits and ran a little bit, he played smart and he didn't turn the ball over and give them opportunities," Reid said of McNabb. "He pulled it down when he needed to pull it down and threw when he needed to throw."

The Cowboys had a chance to clinch the NFC East last season on Christmas day, but the Eagles defeated them convincingly here, 23-7. While the Eagles went on to claim the division title last year, Dallas ended up stumbling into the postseason and lost its wild card game.

Dallas' offense started slowly, as it has in the majority of its games this season, going three-and-out on its first three possessions. Romo didn't complete a pass until his seventh attempt early in the second quarter. Overall for the first quarter, the Cowboys held the ball for just 3:09 and gained just 13 total yards.

"As the game went on, we never really got in the flow, we never got clicking and made some big plays," Witten said. "We hung around, our defense played good enough to give us a chance, we just couldn't finish it off and that's obviously frustrating for us and we have to learn from this."

After connecting on his second completion, a 53-yard pass to Witten, the Cowboys reached the Eagles 8-yard-line, but a crazy sequence eventually led to Nick Folk's 33-yard field goal that put the first points on the board with 8:52 remaining in the second.

On a 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard-line, Romo was intercepted by Quintin Mikell in the end zone. Mikell ran it out but fumbled it and Cowboys running back Marion Barber recovered on the 14-yard line.

"You live and you learn," Mikell said. "I got hit and fumbled the ball. It's a good thing they only got three points out of it."

Reid challenged the call, but the ruling of a fumble stood. Three plays later, after two more Romo incompletions, Folk kicked the field goal.

Romo continued to struggle, finishing the first half just 5-for-17 with two interceptions, including the pick by Sheppard that led to the Eagles' touchdown just 16 seconds before halftime - a 1-yard toss from McNabb to Reggie Brown to give Philadelphia a 7-3 lead at halftime.

"That's a prideful team, they've controlled this division for a long time, we knew they weren't going to quit," Witten said of the Eagles. "It's tough. You always want to go into the playoffs rolling and a game like this knocks you off as far as your confidence a bit."

The Cowboys lost both Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode and starting defensive end Chris Canty to left knee injuries during the third quarter, as well as backup tight end Anthony Fasano to a concussion and backup safety Patrick Watkins to a sprained left ankle.

Canty said he's fine and Watkins, who was wearing a boot and on crutches, also indicated that he'd be back shortly.

"What you don't want is injuries at this time of the year and we got nicked up pretty good," Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. "We'll MRI Gurode tomorrow, it looks like we've got a chance that it's not as serious as it could have been. Pat's got a sprained ankle, Romo has probably more of a contusion on his thumb more than a sprain, but it could be a little bit of a sprain on his throwing hand."

With Eagles starting tight end L.J. Smith sitting out with a knee injury, backup Matt Schobel came in and lasted just five plays after he was hit hard by Dallas safety Ken Hamlin and missed the rest of the game with a concussion.

Brent Celek came in and caught three passes for 50 yards, including a 29-yard reception on 3rd-and-9 on the Eagles' final drive.

"You've got to always be ready in this league, at any time anybody can go down," Celek said. "You've got to be able to step up when it's your turn. It felt good. Don made a great throw and the line protected perfectly so he could make that throw, so it was set up for me to succeed on those plays."

There was no word on the severity of Schobel's head injury or the sprained MCL suffered by offensive lineman Shawn Andrews.

For the Cowboys, a team that has overcome just about every hurdle they've encountered this season, there was one significant silver lining.

"That it didn't happen in the playoffs," Jones said. "Basically I am very happy, if we're going to play this bad, that it didn't happen in a playoff game."






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  • SuketoKetchi HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 7:40 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7 0 3 10
    DALLAS 0 3 3 0 6 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: DAL - FG, NICHOLAS FOLK 33 YD, 6:08. Drive: 4
    plays, -1 yards in :50. Key plays:
    Barber recovery of Mikell fumble at
    Philadelphia 14. DALLAS 3-0
    PHI - TD, REGGIE BROWN 1 YD PA

    Dec 16 7:24 PM
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    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 7:14 PM
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    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 6:47 PM


  • NFL
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 21 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 10
    DALLAS 6 13:27 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 6:43 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7 0 7
    DALLAS 0 3 3 6 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: DAL - FG, NICHOLAS FOLK 33 YD, 6:08. Drive: 4
    plays, -1 yards in :50. Key plays:
    Barber recovery of Mikell fumble at
    Philadelphia 14. DALLAS 3-0
    PHI - TD, REGGIE BROWN

    Dec 16 6:37 PM


  • NFL
    FG DAL
    NICHOLAS FOLK 23 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 7
    DALLAS 6 8:26 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 6:19 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7 7
    DALLAS 0 3 3 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: DAL - FG, NICHOLAS FOLK 33 YD, 6:08. Drive: 4
    plays, -1 yards in :50. Key plays:
    Barber recovery of Mikell fumble at
    Philadelphia 14. DALLAS 3-0
    PHI - TD, REGGIE BROWN 1 YD

    Dec 16 5:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    REGGIE BROWN 1 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 7
    DALLAS 3 0:16 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 5:44 PM


  • NFL
    FG DAL
    NICHOLAS FOLK 33 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    DALLAS 3 8:52 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 5:21 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    DALLAS 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE

    Dec 16 4:59 PM
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  • slowowl We know God is on our side, yet we must still be vigilant. This rabble flock of carnivorous birds is so driven by hunger for one little victory that they are little better than their carrion cousins, the vultures, and we must anticipate all manner of hook and crook from this team widely rumored to be minions of the famed Philly underworld. We must pray that our virtuous 'Boys keep their focus sharp, their hearts stout, and the feet ever moving toward pay dirt. /// Amen.

    Eagles vs. CowboysDec 16 11:34 AM
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