PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Garrett completed his audition and now Jerry Jones has to decide if he's the man to lead the Dallas Cowboys.
Will it be enough for Jones to remove the interim label and make Garrett the full-time head coach?
"I would absolutely love to be this team's coach," Garrett said.
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Michael Vick and nearly every starter didn't play in a game that had no effect on Philadelphia's playoff positioning. The Eagles (10-6) are locked into the No. 3 seed and will host Green Bay in a wild-card game next Sunday.
The Cowboys (6-10) were playing for jobs next year. The Eagles were playing to stay healthy for next week.
Still, Dallas struggled against a bunch of backups and seldom-used reserves -- until the final drive.
McGee, making his first career start for an injured Jon Kitna, led the Cowboys on a 54-yard scoring drive and helped them end a dismal season on a positive note.
Garrett went 5-3 after replacing Wade Phillips at midseason. The Cowboys have come a long way since a horrific 1-7 start to a season that began with them having aspirations of becoming the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its home city.
Jones said after the game he has yet to decide if Garrett will get the job. The team owner added he hasn't interviewed any candidates. Jones wants to interview wide receivers coach Ray Sherman, which would satisfy the league's rule about interviewing minority candidates. Jones also would consider speaking to candidates outside the organization. He said he won't require an interview with Garrett.
"I'm really interested in following the spirit of the NFL rules and that's what this is all about," Jones said. "I just want to move on so that we can have the coaching decisions out of the way and move on and do what we need to do."
|They were playing with a QB, Stephen McGee, who was making his first NFL start, but they were also playing against the Eagles’ second team and should have won easily instead of having to pull it out at the end. The Cowboys were playing out the string and they looked like it.|
|Considering their lineup was loaded with second- and third-stringers, they did a pretty good job against what was supposed to be a pretty good team. Still, they couldn’t close it out despite leading almost the entire game and QB Kevin Kolb didn’t play particularly well, mainly because his protection was shaky.|
|By Kevin Noonan|
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The Cowboys' three losses under Garrett have been by a total of seven points.
On a rainy day at the Linc, a few thousand empty seats made it seem more like a preseason game. Fans lacked their typical enthusiasm and most of the familiar names were in street clothes or on the bench.
Kevin Kolb threw a touchdown pass and had three interceptions filling in for Vick. He was sacked six times. Kolb began the season as the starter after the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to Washington. But he sustained a concussion in Week 1 and Vick played so well that Kolb never reclaimed his job.
"It obviously could've been a lot better, but at least if the situation comes where I have to go back in there, you know, you feel like you knocked some of that [rust] off," Kolb said.
This was far different than the past two years when these teams met on the last day of the regular season with so much at stake.
In 2008, a wild-card berth was on the line. The Eagles beat Dallas 44-6 and ended up reaching the NFC Championship Game. Last year, the division title was the prize. The Cowboys won 24-0 and eliminated Philadelphia with a 34-14 win the following week in the playoffs.
David Akers kicked a 43-yard field goal in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a 10-7 lead.
After David Buehler missed a 52-yarder wide right with 9:45 left, Akers made one from 22 to make it 13-7.
But McGee made some clutch throws in the final minutes to rally the Cowboys.
"I think he handled himself good in a tough environment," injured Cowboys starter Tony Romo said of McGee.
Dallas tied it at 7 in the second quarter when DeMarcus Ware returned a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown. Anthony Spencer stripped Kolb, who was scrambling, and Ware picked the ball up and ran untouched into the end zone.
Kolb made a Vick-like escape to toss a 4-yard TD pass to Chad Hall, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. Kolb avoided pressure in the pocket, started to scramble, stopped and found Hall, who made his first career TD catch.
With that score, the Eagles set a franchise record for points in a season. They finished with 439 this year. It's the third straight season they set a new mark.
"I think it's the right thing to do for us," coach Andy Reid said about resting his starters. "Other people do it other ways, but that's what I believe in. It gives everybody an opportunity to rest up, in particular in the short amount of time that we have here."
The Eagles lost to lowly Minnesota 24-14 on Tuesday in a game that was postponed two days because of a snow storm in Philadelphia. A victory over the Vikings would've put the Eagles in position to earn a first-round bye with a win over Dallas and Chicago's loss to Green Bay.
Maclin needed 36 yards receiving to give the Eagles two players with 1,000 yards -- DeSean Jackson is the other -- for the first time in team history. He played briefly and had no catches.
McGlynn entered late in the first quarter when guard Max Jean-Gilles hurt his left ankle.
|Backup QB Stephen McGee leaves everything on the field as he leads the Cowboys to a season-ending victory. (Getty Images)|
|Sun. Jan. 2||Final|
|TD||Chad Hall, 4 Yd pass from Kevin Kolb (David Akers kick is good), 14:53. Drive: 7 plays, 39 yards in 2:38.|
|TD||DeMarcus Ware, 17 Yd fumble return (David Buehler kick is good), 11:28.|
|FG||David Akers, 43 Yd, 14:24. Drive: 6 plays, 34 yards in 2:46.|
|FG||David Akers, 22 Yd, 7:01. Drive: 5 plays, 54 yards in 2:44.|
|TD||Jason Witten, 4 Yd pass from Stephen McGee (David Buehler kick is good), 0:55. Drive: 9 plays, 54 yards in 1:59.|
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