DETROIT -- Well, well, well, check out who's 5-1 and leading the NFC East: the Dallas Cowboys.
With new coach Bill Parcells calling the shots, Terry Glenn caught three first-half touchdown passes Sunday, and Dallas beat the Detroit Lions 38-7 to match its victory total from each of the previous three seasons.
The Cowboys have won five consecutive games for the first time since 1994, and they're off to their best start since winning eight of nine in 1995. Dallas has won three road games this season -- one more than the two previous years combined.
And who claims to be not quite satisfied?
Parcells, of course.
"I'm happy. We're winning," he said. "It helps our confidence, but we've got a few good scuffles coming up, so we'll see. We're a long way from the finish line."
The Cowboys, the only team to lose twice to Detroit the past two-plus seasons, beat the Lions on the road for the first time since 1986.
"I've never won here," said Jerry Jones, who bought the Cowboys in 1989. "It has everything to do with (Parcells') skill level and experience. Our players are believing in him. Two-thirds to three-quarters of these guys came up here the past two years and got beat."
Glenn had six catches for 75 yards, with spectacular plays on two of the TDs. Parcells wanted him in Dallas, so the Cowboys sent an undisclosed draft pick to Green Bay for Glenn in February.
He has played well for Parcells in the past. With New England, Glenn had 90 catches for 1,132 yards and six TDs in his rookie season of 1996, which ended with the Parcells-led Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Despite making just 56 catches for 817 yards and two TDs last year with the Packers, Glenn expected to have a good season once he was reunited with Parcells.
"I was pretty confident in my ability," Glenn said. "It couldn't have been worse than last year."
The Lions, 1-5 under first-year coach Steve Mariucci, are not faring much better than they did the past two years with Marty Mornhinweg, who was fired for going 5-27. Last year, the Lions won two of the first six games before finishing 3-13.
"I hope this is the bottom," Mariucci said. "I was just as surprised by this as everyone else in the stadium. I don't ever remember coaching a game like this before."
Another move that paid off for Parcells was making Quincy Carter his starter during training camp. Carter was 18-of-25 for 190 yards with a career-high three TDs and no interceptions.
"He made one bad play in the third quarter," Parcells said. "But other than that, I thought he was real sharp."
Glenn's first three catches went for touchdowns.
Carter threw a sharp, 20-yard pass to Glenn, who managed to keep both feet in the back of the end zone late in the first quarter for a TD. He made a diving, 19-yard catch -- despite pass interference by Dre' Bly -- to put Dallas ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Harrington's poor pass was intercepted by Mario Edwards and returned 27 yards for a score, giving Dallas a 28-7 lead late in the first half. Harrington was pulled after completing just five of 13 passes for 30 yards with two interceptions.
"Everyone goes into the office and has a bad day," said Harrington, who was booed often. "Sometimes an architect can't come up with the right design and a painter can't paint when he wants to."
Harrington expects to start Sunday at Chicago, where the Lions will attempt to snap their 19-game losing streak on the road.
Mariucci said he owed it to the team to think about whether to start Harrington or Mike McMahon against the Bears.
When McMahon replaced Harrington late in the second quarter, he was welcomed by cheers. But McMahon finished 5-of-20 for 51 yards with an interception and a fumble.
Detroit's quarterbacks combined for a 2.0 rating.
The Lions were fortunate to score. Bly scooped up Troy Hambrick's fumble and returned it 67 yards to give the Lions a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
- It was Dallas' most lopsided victory since beating Arizona 48-7 at home Oct. 22, 2000.
- Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison was the last player to catch three TDs in a first half, two years ago against Buffalo.
- Glenn was the 12th Cowboy to catch three TDs, and the first since Michael Irvin did in 1992. The team record is four in a game, by Bob Hayes in 1970.
The Associated Press News Service
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