PHILADELPHIA -- Miles Austin punctuated his touchdown catch by emphatically firing the ball into the stands.
Take that, Philadelphia.
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.
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.
No matter, McNabb drove Philadelphia 77 yards for the go-ahead score.
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.
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."
Miles Austin races away from the Eagles defense for what proves to be the winning touchdown. (US Presswire)
|Sun. Nov. 8||Final|
|TD||Tashard Choice, 2 Yd run (Nick Folk kick is good), 7:54. Drive: 7 plays, 37 yards in 4:11.|
|FG||David Akers 45 Yd, 11:38. Drive: 10 plays, 55 yards in 3:34.|
|FG||David Akers 48 Yd, 1:38. Drive: 12 plays, 54 yards in 6:08.|
|FG||Nick Folk 22 Yd, 0:04. Drive: 9 plays, 77 yards in 1:34.|
|TD||Brent Celek, 11 Yd pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick is good), 11:48. Drive: 6 plays, 77 yards in 3:12.|
|FG||Nick Folk 33 Yd, 14:52. Drive: 5 plays, 27 yards in 2:08.|
|TD||Miles Austin, 49 Yd pass from Tony Romo (Nick Folk kick is good), 8:04. Drive: 4 plays, 55 yards in 2:45.|
|FG||David Akers 52 Yd, 4:27. Drive: 8 plays, 30 yards in 3:37.|
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