And so much for the road to the NFC East title going through Philadelphia. Donovan McNabb made such a bold statement last week because his Eagles had won five the last six NFC East titles and his team was starting to feel good about itself again.
But the Sunday night game in Philadelphia proved to be simply a
continuation of what has been the Cowboys' theme all season: there is a
new day and a new king of the hill in the NFC and the NFC East.
On top of that, there is a new quarterback who is currently the best
the NFC has to offer -- the newly rich Romo. Romo was nearly flawless.
He completed 20 of 25 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's a new day," linebacker Bradie James said. "We are gaining
confidence. Somebody said you have to go through Philly to win the NFC
East. No you have to go through Dallas. We wanted to let our actions
speak to that. We are a force to be reckoned with and everybody has to
get ready for us."
It could be only the beginning of what the Cowboys hope is a
championship coronation in 2007.
The Cowboys are 7-1 for the first time since 1995 -- the last season
they won the Super Bowl.
The road to the title moves to New York next Sunday when the Cowboys
face the Giants (6-2) in a showdown for the NFC East title.
The Giants have won six straight games since starting 0-2. They are a
far cry from the team Cowboys beat in the season opener 45-35.
But the suddenly road-tough Cowboys say they will be up to the
The victory against the Eagles was the Cowboys' seventh straight road
win. It's the second longest road winning streak in team history to the
10-game road winning streak in 1968.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is starting to believe this can be a
special season in Dallas. He built the team in the offseason to make a
Super Bowl run. That has been the goal all along. If Jones didn't think
it was possible he wouldn't have given Romo the huge contract extension.
The Cowboys have not won a playoff game since 1996.
Still, even Jones wanted to see how his team would react against the
Eagles in Philadelphia.
"This told me a lot," Jones said.
It was a game unlike any he had ever seen in Philadelphia.
When hated former Eagles receiver Terrell Owens went to the end zone
with 45-yard touchdown pass to give the Cowboys a 28-7 lead at the
beginning of the third quarter, there was no reaction from the Eagles
Not even when he mocked the Eagles by flapping his arms in the end
zone as he used to do when he was an Eagle -- before he was kicked off
the team following a rift with McNabb in 2005.
And when Jason Witten caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in the fourth
quarter, many Eagles fans started heading for the exit.
Jones told coach Wade Phillips it was the best performance he had
ever seen from a Cowboys team in Philadelphia.
"What I saw at the end of the third quarter I never thought we would
be in this position," Jones said. "That's how much respect I have for
the Eagles organization. It is surprising. ... It is special to get in
here and play this well."
MONDAY NOTES: FS Ken Hamlin recorded his third interception of the season in the
second quarter against the Eagles. More important, he snatched momentum
back from the Eagles following a Lito Sheppard red zone interception of
quarterback Tony Romo with 1:53 left in the second quarter. Three plays
later Hamlin picked off quarterback Donovan McNabb, setting the Cowboys
up at the 14-yard line with 1:33 left. Three plays later running back
Marion Barber made the score 21-7 on a 5-yard run.
--RB Tyson Thompson was inactive on Sunday in what could be a prelude
to his possibly getting released when the Cowboys activate Tank Johnson
from the suspended list.
--WR Terrell Owens was made a team captain for the Eagles game as the
Cowboys tried to tap into his motivation of wanting to play well against
his former team. Owens had his best game as a Cowboy, with 10 catches
for 174 yards and a 45-yard touchdown.
--QB Tony Romo showed that his contract will not be a problem. He
completed 20 of 25 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns less than a
week after getting a six-year, $67 million contract extension.
--DE Greg Ellis had a sack against the Eagles, giving him 5.5 sacks
in five games since returning from a torn Achilles injury.
'Boys on a Roll
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