ARLINGTON, Texas -- With just over two minutes left in the game, the power to the scoreboard and massive video screen at Cowboys Stadium went out. It was the first bit of good news for an Eagles team that was dominated for four quarters. The Cowboys have back-to-back shutouts for the first time in club history and they're looking more and more like a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
The Eagles missed out on a chance to secure a bye and they'll have to return to Cowboys Stadium to open the playoffs. Just as they did against the Saints and Redskins, the Cowboys got off to a fast start and never looked back. Running back Marion Barber, who has been criticized for choosing the wrong holes this season, had three carries for 58 yards on the opening drive.
Quarterback Tony Romo threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten when Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel gambled by going for an interception. The Eagles ended another Cowboys' scoring opportunity with a Joselio Hanson interception but it just put off the inevitable.
This was a whipping of the highest order. The Cowboys harrassed Donovan McNabb from the start and didn't allow him to find any rhythm. The only player who had any success was tight end Brent Celek. The Eagles missed their best opportunity to score when McNabb couldn't handle a low snap from center Nick Cole out of the shot gun with 4:43 left in the first half.
Romo was 24-of-34 for 311 yards and two touchdowns against an Eagles defense that was on its heels from the opening snap. He hit Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton on quick slants that overwhelmed the Eagles' secondary. Now the two teams will face each other again in the opening round of the playoffs.
It's tough to beat a team three teams in one season but right now you have to like the Cowboys' chances.