It was Now or Never

It was only fifth week of the season, but still the beginning of a now-or-never stretch for the Cowboys.

With three of their four games in October in Texas Stadium, the Cowboys would determine whether they were legitimate contenders this month, coach Bill Parcells said.

The Cowboys heeded that sense of urgency with a 33-10 victory over the Eagles.

It was important because the Eagles had owned the Cowboys, winning nine of the previous 10.

It was also important because the Eagles are the defending NFC champion and four-time defending NFC East champions.

The Cowboys knew they had to get over that hump against Philadelphia if they were going live out their playoff dreams in 2005.

Parcells called the victory the most complete by the Cowboys since he joined the team in 2003.

"You play like that, you've got a chance to beat anybody," Parcells said.

The question is can the Cowboys keep it up?

They have been an inconsistent bunch since Parcells took over, posting a 19-18 overall record.

Stringing together back-to-back victories and beating the Giants (3-1) on Sunday would be another huge step for the Cowboys, who travel to Seattle and play host to Arizona to close the month.

"I am not going to lie -- this feels good," defensive end Greg Ellis said. "This was big for us. It's a division opponent. Coach talked to us about us about if you want to be winners, you have to compete with the guys in the division. This was a step for us to get to the playoffs. It's a game we had to win."

Replay
The Cowboys turned the tables on the Eagles in Philadelphia fashion. They were aggressive on offense and blitz-happy on defense in a 33-10 victory.

Drew Bledsoe passed for 289 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Terry Glenn in the first quarter to help the Cowboys to a 17-0 lead.

The Cowboys rolled up 456 yards of offense, their highest total since 1999.

Defensively, the Cowboys shutdown the league's top-rated offense. Donovan McNabb was sacked four times.

The 129 yards of offense allowed by the Cowboys defense was the fewest since they held the Giants to 105 yards in 1996.

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