Cowboys Fall to Philly

Not even the presence of Jessica Simpson was enough to save the Cowboys on Sunday.

Not against a prideful Eagles team that may have been out of serious playoff contention but would have loved nothing more than taking down its arch rivals.

The Cowboys have supplanted the Eagles as the NFC East champions with a franchise best 12-2 start. But the Eagles, who won five of the previous six division titles, put a blemish on the Cowboys' record with a 10-6 victory and now have raised concerns about the Cowboys' status as NFC front runners.

It was tabloid star Jessica Simpson's first visit to Texas Stadium since she and Romo reportedly began dating a few weeks ago.

Romo celebrated her presence with the worst performance of his career, completing 13 of 36 passes for 214 yards, three interceptions and a quarterback rating of 22.2.

Romo's play was part of a season-low 240 yards of offense and the first time the Cowboys were held without a touchdown since 2004 against the Bengals, a span of 54 games.

Making matters worse was a thumb injury on Romo's throwing hand in the third quarter.

Romo said he will be fine. And that's the preliminary word from team doctors -- although there is a slight chance he could have ligament damage.

What's true is any hopes the Cowboys have of making a run to their first Super Bowl since 1996 is based on Romo's play.

He has already broken all of the Cowboys' significant single-season passing records and has been a key to what already has been the best offensive output in team history.

"It's frustrating because I played poorly," Romo said. "I wish I had played better. I take the blame for some of it."

The Cowboys can have no more poor performances from Romo.

"This is the feeling you don't want to have come playoff time because you go home then," owner Jerry Jones said.

Already NFC East champions, the Cowboys clinched a first-round bye before the game courtesy of Seattle's 13-10 loss to Carolina and remain in the driver's seat for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

But thanks to the loss -- which snapped a seven-game winning streak, the Cowboys are now tied with the Packers for the best record in the NFC, and could lose home-field advantage with a loss in one of the final two games at Carolina and at Washington.

"We haven't had a feeling like this in a while," coach Wade Phillips said. "Obviously, we didn't play our best game."

Said receiver Patrick Crayton: "Our focus is getting ready for Carolina and getting some momentum going into the playoffs. No more losses this year."

But in looking at the big picture, the Cowboys are simply not playing as well as they had earlier in the season.

Instead of heading into the playoffs on a roll, the Cowboys are coming off two ragged performances. They narrowly escaped with a win against the Lions last week before losing to an Eagles team riding a three-game losing streak.

The Cowboys hope it will be a wakeup call and think they could learn from it.

"If we win the Super Bowl, the loss was a good thing," Romo said. "If we lose in the first round of the playoffs, it was not a good thing."

"Maybe this is good for us," receiver Terrell Owens said. "A gut check. We just have to regroup and come back next week and win these two games on the road." MONDAY NOTES: WR Terrell Owens was held to two catches for 37 yards against the Eagles. Owens has just five receptions the past two games combined.

--QB Tony Romo suffered a bruised thumb on his throwing hand against the Eagles. The Cowboys don't believe it's serious -- although they are keeping their fingers crossed that he didn't suffer ligament damage.

--C Andre Gurode suffered a sprained left knee against the Eagles. He will have an MRI exam on Monday.

--FS Pat Watkins left on crutches following a left ankle injury in the game. Although he was wearing a boot, he said he will be fine as the x-rays were negative.

--DE Chris Canty suffered a sprained left knee against the Eagles. He didn't return to the game but he said he will be ready for the game against the Panthers next Sunday. Canty is from North Carolina and said will not miss playing at home.

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