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Dallas at Philadelphia

Cowboys rally past Eagles, take over first place in NFC East

CBSSports.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- Miles Austin punctuated his touchdown catch by emphatically firing the ball into the stands.

Take that, Philadelphia.

If this is the best the NFC East has to offer ...
by Mike Freeman
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Tony Romo threw a 49-yard TD pass to Austin midway through the fourth quarter and the Dallas Cowboys beat the Eagles 20-16 on Sunday night in the 100th meeting between the division rivals.

On the final day of the 2008 regular season, the Eagles dominated Dallas 44-6 in a do-or-die game for both teams. Philadelphia earned a wild-card berth with that victory, won two playoff contests on the road and advanced to the NFC championship game, where it lost at Arizona.

The Cowboys (6-2) spent the whole offseason thinking about that horrendous ending. They got their revenge and took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East with their fourth consecutive victory.

"Our last loss against them really motivated us to come out and play good," Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.

The Eagles fell to 5-3, and the New York Giants are 5-4 after a 5-0 start.

Cowboys-Eagles links

Eagles' Westbrook scratched again

Postgame reports: Cowboys | Eagles

Romo finished 21 of 34 for 307 yards, one TD and one interception.

"We executed," Romo said. "I think the coaches put together a good plan. You just have to keep fighting and getting better."

Donovan McNabb was shaky after a strong performance in a 40-17 rout of the Giants last week. McNabb threw for 227 yards, one TD and was intercepted twice for the first time this season.

"We have to eliminate mistakes," McNabb said.

The Cowboys began their go-ahead drive after stopping McNabb on fourth-and-inches at their 45. The Eagles challenged, but a replay upheld the original spot.

On third-and-14, Romo fooled Sheldon Brown with a pump-fake and hit a wide-open Austin down the left sideline to give Dallas a 20-13 lead.

"I gave them a little pump," Romo said. "I thought they'd been jumping it a little and they went for it."

Austin leads the Cowboys with seven TD catches, three fewer than Terrell Owens had last season. Unlike T.O., Austin only gives defenses headaches instead of his QB.

"I made sure I caught it first," Austin said of his only reception in the game. "A bunch of the guys were making fun of me because I took so long to see it in my hands."

David Akers kicked a 52-yard field goal to cut it to 20-16, but the Eagles never got the ball back. The Cowboys maintained possession the final 4:27.

"I thought we could hold them, get the ball back and win the game," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

Trailing 10-6, the Eagles seemingly went ahead when Ellis Hobbs returned the second-half kickoff 96 yards for a score. But a holding call on Moise Fokou nullified the TD.

No matter, McNabb drove Philadelphia 77 yards for the go-ahead score.

LeSean McCoy turned a short pass into a 45-yard gain. One play later, McNabb escaped the rush and found Brent Celek in the corner of the end zone to put Philadelphia ahead 13-10.

On Dallas' ensuing possession, Brown intercepted Romo's off-target pass to Jason Witten and returned it 54 yards. An illegal block by Fokou negated the return to the Cowboys 35, and the Eagles' drive stalled near midfield after starting at their 12.

Mike Jenkins intercepted McNabb to set up Nick Folk's tying 33-yard field goal eight seconds into the fourth quarter.

Gerald Sensabaugh's interception on Philadelphia's first possession ended McNabb's streak of 118 passes without a pick. McNabb's pass on third-and-5 to a wide-open Jeremy Maclin hit him in the hands and bounced to Sensabaugh.

Six plays later, Tashard Choice ran in from the 2 after taking a shotgun snap with Romo lined up wide to the right. Romo completed two third-down passes to keep the drive going, including a 21-yard gain to Kevin Ogletree on third-and-9.

Romo connected with Patrick Crayton on a 64-yard catch-and-run late in the second quarter to set up Folk's 22-yard field goal that made it 10-6. Tracy White made a diving, TD-saving tackle to trip up Crayton.

Akers kicked a 45-yard field goal early in the second quarter to put the Eagles on the board. He nailed a 48-yarder late in the quarter to cut it to 7-6.

The Eagles played without star running back Brian Westbrook for the second successive game because of a concussion and strongside linebacker Chris Gocong sat out with hamstring and quad injuries. Fokou, a seventh-round pick, made his first start in Gocong's place.

Westbrook was expected to play, but he started experiencing symptoms of a mild headache on Friday. Westbrook then underwent more tests and the Eagles held him out as a precaution. McCoy started for Westbrook.

The Cowboys held receiver DeSean Jackson to two catches through three quarters. Jackson has six TDs this season, all for 50-plus yards. He has four TD catches and he has scored on a run and a punt return.

"We didn't let him get behind us," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "Both our corners played well."


  • The Cowboys lead the series 56-44.
  • Williams had five catches for 75 yards.
  • McCoy finished with 115 total yards -- 61 receiving and 54 rushing.
  • Michael Vick ran for 2 yards and handed off on his only two plays. McNabb went to the sideline when Vick entered.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Miles Austin races away from the Eagles defense for what proves to be the winning touchdown.
Miles Austin races away from the Eagles defense for what proves to be the winning touchdown. (US Presswire)


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Sun. Nov. 8Final
Pass: T. Romo (21-34, 307) D. McNabb (16-30, 227)
Rush: M. Barber (12-50) L. McCoy (13-54)
Rec: R. Williams (5-75) L. McCoy (5-61)
Scoring Summary
TDTashard Choice, 2 Yd run (Nick Folk kick is good), 7:54. Drive: 7 plays, 37 yards in 4:11.
FGDavid Akers 45 Yd, 11:38. Drive: 10 plays, 55 yards in 3:34.
FGDavid Akers 48 Yd, 1:38. Drive: 12 plays, 54 yards in 6:08.
FGNick Folk 22 Yd, 0:04. Drive: 9 plays, 77 yards in 1:34.
TDBrent Celek, 11 Yd pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick is good), 11:48. Drive: 6 plays, 77 yards in 3:12.
FGNick Folk 33 Yd, 14:52. Drive: 5 plays, 27 yards in 2:08.
TDMiles Austin, 49 Yd pass from Tony Romo (Nick Folk kick is good), 8:04. Drive: 4 plays, 55 yards in 2:45.
FGDavid Akers 52 Yd, 4:27. Drive: 8 plays, 30 yards in 3:37.
Players of the Game

D. McNabb
Att 30
Comp 16
Yds 227
TD 1

T. Romo
Att 34
Comp 21
Yds 307
TD 1
T. Romo21/3430711
M. Barber1250016
T. Choice31319
F. Jones41004
K. Ogletree1606
T. Romo3-30-1
R. Williams575022
P. Crayton274064
M. Austin149149
J. Witten743010
K. Ogletree238021
M. Barber320012
T. Choice1808
D. McNabb16/3022712
L. McCoy1354017
L. Weaver83307
M. Vick1202
D. McNabb1000
L. McCoy561045
J. Maclin344015
J. Avant243023
B. Celek339120
D. Jackson229020
A. Smith111011
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
PIT 28 Final
DEN 10
TEN 34 Final
SF 27
SD 21 Final
NYG 20
DET 20 Final
SEA 32
CAR 20 Final
NO 30
GB 28 Final
TB 38
MIA 17 Final
NE 27
KC 21 Final
JAC 24
HOU 17 Final
IND 20
BAL 7 Final
CIN 17
ARI 41 Final
CHI 21
WAS 17 Final
ATL 31