Final

Cowboys 10

(8-5, 3-3 away)

Eagles 36

(10-3, 5-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 7, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 3 7 0 010
PHI 0 10 9 1736

McNabb tosses for 248 yards, three TDs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A costly interception, a bad snap and countless second-half penalties on Sunday all but ended the Dallas Cowboys' hopes for the NFC East crown.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Cowboys: Has Parcells run out of answers or are they just getting beat by better teams?
Dallas' recent swoon isn't due to any failing of coach Parcells. The Cowboys have played four consecutive potential playoff teams after going nine games having played only one. Because of the way its schedule was set up, the Cowboys were doomed to fall back to the pack. It isn't a top-echelon team and its 1-3 record over the past four games has proven that fact.

Question on the Eagles: Do you see this team getting back to the NFC title game?
This team definitely has the ability. The offense has become very balanced with the emergence of RB Brian Westbrook to go along with QB Donovan McNabb's recent fine play. Also, its defensive backfield is starting to gel and the recent return of Brian Dawkins has helped to stabilize the defense overall.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

An intercepted Quincy Carter pass on the third play of the third quarter threw all the momentum behind the Philadelphia Eagles, and they went on to clinch a playoff spot and beat Dallas 36-10.

"The second half was just awful. It was just nothing but penalties and turnovers, and you know, they're a good team, and they're going to take advantage of things like that," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said.

The Eagles (10-3), who have the best record in the NFC, can clinch their third straight division title with two more victories or one win and another loss by the Cowboys. Philadelphia hasn't lost since a 23-21 defeat in Dallas on Oct. 12.

The Cowboys stayed close early and were tied at 10 at halftime. But Sheldon Brown stepped in front of Carter's pass to Terry Glenn and returned it 10 yards to the Dallas 27. Six plays later, Duce Staley caught a shovel pass from Donovan McNabb and ran into the end zone for a 17-10 lead.

"I made a mistake and it cost us," said Carter, who was 15-of-24 for 93 yards and two interceptions.

"Quincy knows what he did. He's just gotta stop doing what he did there in the third quarter," Parcells said. "It's something that I've talked to him about since I got to know him. You know, you try to make something out of nothing, and that's what happens."

Later that quarter, Matt Lehr's bad snap sailed past Carter and out of the end zone for a safety, giving the Eagles a 19-10 lead.

The Eagles put the game away on their ensuing possession, driving 68 yards to take a 26-10 lead. McNabb connected with L.J. Smith for a score one play after hitting James Thrash for a 20-yard gain to the Dallas 6.

Parcells, who was furious with the team after its embarrassing 40-21 Thanksgiving Day loss against Miami, said he is about as angry at the team this week as he's ever been. The Cowboys (8-5) are 3-4 after a 5-1 start under the first-year coach.

"I'm concerned about a lot of things right now," Parcells said. "It's pretty hard to have a full-blown crisis in your first year with a program. I don't know what I'm expecting. I expected more maybe."

McNabb, who has insisted the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East, threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns.

"We stayed confident, we stayed together and that's important," McNabb said.

Correll Buckhalter ran for 115 yards, including a 64-yard TD run in the fourth quarter that capped the scoring.

McNabb threw TD passes of 16 yards to Brian Westbrook, 5 yards to Staley and 6 yards to Smith. He completed 19 of 35 passes and didn't throw an interception for the fifth time in the last six games.

"Even though things were shaky, it was no time for panicking," McNabb said. "What you saw today was a team that wanted to defend its territory and move on."

The worst-rated passer in the NFL through six games, McNabb has returned to his Pro Bowl form. He has thrown for 1,513 yards, nine TDs and only one interception in the last six games, and was the NFC's offensive player of the month in November.

The Cowboys came out trying to run against Philadelphia's porous run defense. Troy Hambrick got the carry on the first seven plays, but Dallas had to abandon the running game once the Eagles opened a big lead.

Hambrick finished with 75 yards rushing, stopping the Eagles' four-game streak of allowing a 100-yard rusher.

Carter executed a play fake perfectly and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Jeff Robinson to tie the game at 10 late in the second quarter. But the Cowboys never recovered after his interception in the third.

McNabb's 16-yard TD toss to Westbrook gave the Eagles a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. Westbrook caught a screen pass at the 25, broke one tackle and eluded three others for his 11th TD of the season (six rushing, three receiving, one punt return). ^Notes:@ The Eagles' winning streak is their longest since winning eight straight in 1980, when they went to the Super Bowl for the only time in franchise history. ... Dallas has lost five straight in Philadelphia. ... Carter has 13 interceptions in the last seven games. ... Eagles K David Akers is 10-for-10 on field-goal tries in the last three games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FOURTH QUARTERDALPHI
phiTD1:58Correll Buckhalter, 64 yd run
Drive info: 2 plays, 72 yds, 0:08
1035
phi1:58
Drive info: 2 plays, 72 yds, 0:08
1036
THIRD QUARTERDALPHI
phiTD12:29Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 27 yds, 0:38
1016
FIRST QUARTERDALPHI
dalFG3:47Billy Cundiff 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 34 yds, 2:14
30
SECOND QUARTERDALPHI
phiTD3:26Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 79 yds, 3:50
39
THIRD QUARTERDALPHI
phi12:29
Drive info: 5 plays, 27 yds, 0:38
1017
SECOND QUARTERDALPHI
phi3:26
Drive info: 7 plays, 79 yds, 3:50
310
THIRD QUARTERDALPHI
phiSF2:33Dallas safety.
Drive info: 5 plays, -15 yds, 2:12
1019
SECOND QUARTERDALPHI
dalTD0:33Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 61 yds, 2:36
910
dal0:33
Drive info: 7 plays, 61 yds, 2:36
1010
FOURTH QUARTERDALPHI
phiFG6:19David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yds, 4:15
1029
SECOND QUARTERDALPHI
phiFG15:00David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 65 yds, 13:36
33
FOURTH QUARTERDALPHI
phiTD13:00Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 69 yds, 13:38
1025
phi13:00
Drive info: 8 plays, 69 yds, 13:38
1026