Dallas derailed any attempts of digging out from its spiraling season with numerous errors and missed plays against Philadelphia. The early bumbles led to a 35-14 halftime lead for the Eagles as a national audience saw what Cowboys fans have been seeing for weeks.
Dallas running back Eddie George's first-quarter fumble, his first in 698 touches since 2002, was the first sign it might be a painful night. George made an impressive catch and run to the Eagles 21-yard line, but Philadelphia linebacker Mark Simoneau made an even more impressive play. Simoneau swiped the ball from George and returned it to the Eagles 28, ending the Cowboys' scoring opportunity.
Moments later, the problems continued when Cowboys rookie Lance Frazier muffed a punt with 1:02 left in the first quarter when he tried to field Dirk Johnson's kick off a bounce. It hit off his hands, and the Eagles recovered at the Cowboys' 14. Terence Newman had a chance to grab the ball, but it squirted away and Philadelphia's Roderick Hood recovered.
"I was just too excited," Frazier said. "I put too much pressure on myself to make a play. I should have been a little smarter. It was a rookie mistake."
Four plays later, running back Dorsey Levens scored on a 4-yard run to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
There was plenty of blame for the Cowboys' defense, especially in pass coverage and trying to chase down elusive Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.
He scrambled for 14 seconds on a second-quarter play, then threw against his body and found Freddie Mitchell, who beat Nate Jones for a 60-yard completion. That set up the touchdown that gave the Eagles their 35-14 lead.
Earlier in the second quarter, Eagles receiver Terrell Owens turned around Cowboys Pro Bowl safety Roy Williams on a corner route for an easy 27-yard touchdown catch with 9:45 left in the half.
Owens' second touchdown gave the Eagles a 21-7 lead, and the rout was on.
"It's something that's pretty obvious," Frazier said. "We have a lot of problems in this football club. We have to work harder to get a majority of the mistakes corrected."
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