|ESPN.com: NFC East||[Print without images]|
PHILADELPHIA -- In a stunning turn of events, the Eagles found out just before kickoff Sunday that they were still in the playoff hunt. They came out and overwhelmed the Cowboys to take a 27-3 halftime lead and then coasted to a 44-6 win.
Quarterback Donovan McNabb connected with Correll Buckhalter and DeSean Jackson on big plays in the first half to set up two Eagles touchdowns. But it was the Eagles' defense that shut the door on Tony Romo and the Cowboys. After last Sunday's loss to the Ravens, the Cowboys asked Romo to treat the football as a precious commodity. But the message didn't quite get through. He fumbled twice and threw a back-breaking interception late in the first half.
The Eagles defense returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the second half to remove any mystery from the outcome. The Eagles (9-6-1) will travel to Minnesota for a wild-card playoff game next weekend and the Cowboys (9-7) will have a lot of time to think about perhaps the most disappointing season in the history of the franchise.
McNabb was 12 of 21 for 175 yards and two touchdowns and he was able to finish the game on the bench. Unlike the game against the Ravens four weeks ago, it was a pleasant sight for Eagles fans to see McNabb cooling his heels. Fans and players spent part of the pregame watching the Bucs-Raiders game, but when Tampa Bay took a 24-14 lead, the game was turned off. The Raiders mounted a comeback and their 31-24 win coupled with a Bears loss to the Texans put the Eagles in position again. Unlike last week against the Redskins, the Eagles made the most of the opportunity.
They will be a dangerous team heading into Minnesota next weekend and the fact that they defeated the Giants recently has to give them a lot of confidence.