The Dallas Cowboys swept the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time since 1998, thanks to Roy Williams and his 46-yard interception return for a touchdown Monday night.
The turnover gave the Cowboys a miraculous 21-20 come-from-behind win, not to mention a stranglehold on the NFC East.
"They were throwing those little curls and out routes all game, and it was just my time to step up and make a play," Williams said.
Playing their first game since banishing Owens for good, the
Eagles (4-5) appeared to be in control with a 20-7 lead with
less than four minutes left, but the Cowboys (6-3) scored two
touchdowns in a span of 21 seconds to pull out the win.
Drew Bledsoe connected with Terry Glenn on a 20-yard touchdown
pass to pull the Cowboys within 20-14 with 3:04 remaining. It
was only the second catch of the night for Glenn, who was
double-covered most of the way after hurting the Eagles with
seven catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the first
meeting between the teams last month.
On the second play after the ensuing kickoff, McNabb attempted
to complete a pass to rookie Reggie Brown, who was running down
the right sideline. But Williams moved quickly to his left,
intercepted the poorly thrown pass and raced to the end zone.
"I was just reading Donovan's eyes on the play and reacted,"
Williams said. "I didn't think he was going to throw it, but he
threw it and my eyes lit up. The rest is history."
"As a quarterback, you can't be tentative and I have the
confidence to get the ball in there and give my receivers a
chance to make plays," McNabb said. "But I take the blame for
every loss. I don't point the finger at anyone."
McNabb attempted to tackle Williams, but was knocked to the
ground by linebacker Bradie James. McNabb limped off the field
and played one more series. But after being sacked by defensive
end Greg Ellis just before the two-minute warning, McNabb did
not return when the Eagles got the ball back again with 45
Reserve Mike McMahon nearly brought the Eagles into prime
field-goal range, but Brown, who was starting in place of the
suspended Owens, dropped a pass inside the Dallas 25 in the
McMahon scrambled for nine yards to the Dallas 42 with eight
seconds left. An incompletion on the next play brough the clock
down to four seconds.
Eagles coach Andy Reid then called on David Akers to kick a
60-yard field goal, but the attempt fell well short.
Williams is notorious in Philadelphia for his horse-collar
tackle on Owens, the controversial former Eagles receiver who
dislocated and severely sprained his ankle and missed the last
two regular season games and two playoff games in 2004 before
returning for the Super Bowl.
Now Williams will be known for making the play that enabled the
Cowboys to sweep the season series from the Eagles for the first
time since 1998.
Dallas moved into a first-place tie with the New York Giants
(6-3) in the NFC East, one game ahead of Washington (5-4) and
two games ahead of Philadelphia, which has lost three in a row
for the first time since 1999.
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells, who just hours before Monday the game attended the funeral of his brother, Don Parcells, called the win a lucky one.
"I feel fortunate. They didn't die easy that team. Hey, I feel fortunate. I think we were lucky to win," he said.
"There's a lot of emotion here for me today. I tell you what I told the players, I got a message today that said 'don't have a troubled heart.' And I don't. Because of those guys in there."
The Eagles grabbed the lead early, running seven times on an game-opening 11-play,
72-yard drive. Westbrook capped it with a 15-yard touchdown run
with 8:54 left in the first quarter.
Bledsoe connected with Peerless Price on a 58-yard bomb over the
middle to highlight Dallas' first scoring drive. Three plays
later, rookie Marion Barber III scored on a one-yard run with 55
seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Philadelphia's defense came up with a big play when cornerback
Lito Sheppard intercepted a pass by Bledsoe, who flipped the
ball in the air before being hit by linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.
Sheppard returned the interception five yards to the Dallas 19.
Four plays later, McNabb ran around right end for a two-yard
touchdown to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead with 1:47 left in the
Akers kicked a 48-yard field goal with 8:06 remaining in the
third quarter and added a 20-yard field goal with 9:12 left in
His last successful attempt came after the Cowboys stopped
Westbrook short of the goal line on third down.
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