37 - 41 Final
  for this game

Barber, Owens help Cowboys outslug Eagles

Sep 16, 2008 - 6:17 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

IRVING, Texas (Ticker) -- With two high-powered offenses battling it out, it was only fitting the game came down to the last team to score.

Marion Barber scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 4:35 remaining to give the Dallas Cowboys a come-from-behind 41-37 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

Terrell Owens had three catches - but two were for touchdowns. He moved past Cris Carter for second on the all-time list after reeling in a 72-yard pass from quarterback Tony Romo to give Dallas a 7-3 advantage with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter. Owens added a four-year scoring strike in the second quarter to give Dallas a 21-20 lead.

But the game came down to the Eagles' last drive in the fourth quarter.

After getting sacked on two consecutive plays, quarterback Donovan McNabb's 4th-and-17 pass to DeSean Jackson wasn't far enough for a first down - even after two laterals - and Philadelphia turned the ball over on downs with 63 seconds remaining.

"When you're at 2nd-and-long and 3rd-and-long, you put yourself in a bad position," Westbrook said. "And that's what we did."

"It was on us - if they didn't score, they don't win," Cowboys linebacker Bradie James said of that final possession. "That's kind of what you dream about, what champions dream about. When the ball is on our court, we have to stand up and that's we we did on the defensive side today."

In a wild back-and-forth game that saw seven lead changes, Tony Romo completed 21-of-30 for 312 yards with three touchdowns and one interception to lead Dallas. It was the second straight week he surpassed 300 yards.

"It's two good teams that went at it tonight and we were lucky enough to come out of it on top at the end," Romo said. "I think some guys on our team played really well tonight. It's never easy to do, especially against a team like that - they are coached so well and they do so many good things defensively."

Jason Witten caught seven passes for 110 yards and Barber added 114 total yards - 51 rushing and 63 receiving for Dallas (2-0).

"I think Tony does a great job," Witten said of Romo. "And obviously, there were a couple of plays he'd like to have back, but just the composure and the leadership that he shows in just keeping everybody in the game when it's so emotional. He did a great job leading this team and made some big throws for us to give us the win."

The Eagles' high-octane offense has now scored a league-high 75 in their two games. McNabb was sharp once again, throwing for 281 yards and a touchdown while Brian Westbrook scored three touchdowns - two rushing and one receiving - for Philadelphia (1-1).

"We didn't win the game," McNabb said. "It clearly doesn't matter. We can say that we did a great job scoring, but we didn't win the game."

"We fought hard, but that's not our goal," Westbrook said. "Our goal is to go out and win the football game. We're not where we want to be right now, but we played against a very good football team. We knew we were coming in to play a very good football team. We didn't know the score was going to be this high."

With the Eagles again again missing their top two receivers, Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, rookie DeSean Jackson again became McNabb's favorite target, reeling in six catches for 110 yards. That made him only the second player ever to record two 100-yard games to start a career - and first since Philadelphia's Don Looney did so in 1940.

The two NFC East rivals, who each won impressively in Week One, battled for the 40th and final time at Texas Stadium, with the Cowboys triumphing for the 26th occasion.

"What a game, what a win," Dallas coach Wade Phillips said. "I can be proud of our guys."

Westbrook's second 1-yard TD run of the game gave the Eagles a 37-31 lead on the second play of the fourth quarter, but Dallas battled back with 10 consecutive points.

Nick Folk's 47-yard field goal pulled Dallas to within 37-34 with 10:29 remaining, and then the Cowboys got the ball back when Jay Ratliff recovered Westbrook's fumble. That led to a 67-yard Dallas drive which was capped by Barber's 1-yard run to make it 41-37.

"On the play, I kind of stumbled and fell a little bit, but I never took my eyes off the ball and it was a blessing, it fell right in my hands," Ratliff said. "Very simple, not very dramatic."

"The big play was the fumble recovery and then us going in for the touchdown after that," Phillips said. "And then we played lights out after that."

Dallas appeared to be in control early, especially after rookie Felix Jones' 98-yard kickoff returned gave the Cowboys a 14-6 lead.

"It was real big for me," Jones said of the Cowboys' first kickoff return TD since 2003. "I saw a lot of grass. The kickoff return team did a great job. They created a lot of room for me. We have a mindset before we break for the kickoff and we say, 'Take it to the house.'"

But as the first quarter wound down, the tide turned quickly.

Asante Samuel intercepted Romo to set the Eagles up on the Dallas 28, and on the next play, Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry was called for pass interference with Greg Lewis in the end zone, giving Philadelphia the ball on the 1-yard line as time expired. Following an Eagles penalty that pushed them back to the 6, McNabb found Westbrook for the touchdown five seconds into the second quarter.

"Just reading the quarterback, we had a little zone coverage and I saw him release the ball and knew it was going to be a little high," Samuel said of the interception. "So I just went and got the ball. It definitely was (a key moment). There was a lot of big game-changing plays and that was one of them, but at the end of the day, we lost, so we got to bounce back next week."

The Eagles angled the ensuing kickoff to Isaiah Stanback instead of Jones and Stanback muffed it before recovering on his own 5-yard-line. On the first play from scrimmage, Romo fumbled in the end zone and Philadelphia linebacker Chris Gocong fell on it for another touchdown, just 14 seconds after their previous score to go up 20-14.

"I had two poor plays tonight that you obviously want back," Romo said, "but this game is not about human error. You just try and let those go and come right back and try and score the next time as an offensive unit."

"I saw that he was trying to scramble a little bit and just tried to get back there," Gocong said of his first career touchdown. "The ball was rolling around, luckily I jumped on it, a lucky play I guess."

That jump-started the Eagles offense to a 24-point quarter. Included in the offensive eruption was a 60-yard pass from McNabb to Jackson, who was about to score, but relinquished the ball just before actually entering the end zone, leaving Philadelphia on the 1-yard-line. Westbrook scored on the on the very next play to put Philadelphia ahead, 27-21.

"I felt when I caught the ball, it was a deep pass and thought I was in the end zone," Jackson said. "But I learned from that and just keep going. The biggest thing was Westbrook got in there and scored for us.

"It wasn't like it was a turnover or anything like that, but definitely, I learned from it. It was just one of those things, I was overexcited, just young and trying to have fun is the biggest thing. I'm kind of mad at myself because I could have had a touchdown, but I just kept playing."

The clubs traded field goals in the final minute of the second quarter to leave the Eagles with a 30-24 halftime lead.

Each club's defense settled in and began to make plays in the third quarter, at least until Romo found Barber for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 5:08 left to put Dallas back on top 31-30.

"We played better and better as the game went along," Phillips said. "I thought we got stronger defensively."

After the Eagles opened the scoring on David Akers' 34-yard field goal on game's opening possession, Romo struck back quickly, firing a 72-yard bomb to Owens.