Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

• The Eagles completed their march through the NFC East by taking a 23-7 decision in Dallas to clinch a playoff spot. That win came on the heels of road victories against the Redskins and the Giants, marking the first time in 19 years that any NFL team has won three consecutive games -- all in the division and all on the road.

The last team to do that was the Saints in 1987. In consecutive weeks, the team of Jim Mora the Elder defeated three NFC West rivals -- the Falcons, Los Angeles Rams and 49ers -- all on the road. The only other team to do that since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger was Washington in 1971.

• The Eagles qualified for the playoffs despite losing five out of six games during the middle of the season. Over the past six seasons (2000-2005), only one of the 72 postseason teams lost five of six games at any point during the season: the Jets did it in 2002.

• Andy Reid now has a 12-4 (.750) record against the Cowboys. It's the highest winning percentage by any of the 16 individuals who have head-coached at least 10 regular-season games vs. Dallas.

Only three head coaches have had 10-or-more regular-season wins vs. Dallas: Joe Gibbs (14-15), Reid (12-4) and Bill Parcells himself (10-8).

• Philadelphia showed fine offensive balance in its victory in Dallas, gaining 204 rushing yards and 222 passing yards. It had been more than 26 years since the Eagles last won on the road while gaining at least 200 yards in each category; in September of 1980, the Eagles beat the Vikings, 42-7, in old Metropolitan Stadium, gaining 249 yards on the ground and 280 through the air.

Tony Romo had a season-low 45.5 rating on the 29 passes he threw on Monday. Although Romo has topped a 100 rating in four starts this season, the Christmas Day game marked the third time in the last four games that Romo has finished with a sub-60 rating.

• The upshot of the Eagles' win in Dallas is that, should the Eagles defeat the Falcons next week, the Cowboys will face the prospect of opening the playoffs on the road. No one has to tell Bill Parcells what that means: He's 7-1 all-time in playoff games in his own stadium, but 2-5 in playoff games on the road. (His 11-7 overall postseason record also includes a 2-1 mark in neutral-site Super Bowls.)

Chad Pennington boosted his pro record to 30-22 (.577) as a starter. With the victory in South Florida, he now owns the highest winning percentage for any quarterback in Jets' history (minimum: 20 starts); that distinction was previously held by Vinny Testaverde, who was 35-26 (.574).

Leon Washington took a short Chad Pennington pass six yards behind the line of scrimmage, and was tackled 64 yards beyond it -- the key play in the Jets' 13-10 win at Miami that allowed the Jets to determine their own playoff fate, based on next week's game against the Raiders.

For the game, Washington had four receptions for 108 yards and became the first Jets running back to have a 100-yard receiving game since Richie Anderson had three of them in 2000.


Dwyane Wade surely knows that it's better to give than to receive, but on Christmas Day, he showed that on the court, it's even better to give and to score. Wade scored 40 points and had 11 assists in Miami's 101-85 win over the Lakers.

Wade became only the third player to collect 40 points and 10 assists in any of the 194 Christmas Day games in NBA history. Oscar Robertson had 40 points and 17 assists for the Cincinnati Royals on Christmas Day 1961 and Tracy McGrady went 41 and 11 for Houston three years ago.

• No mas, please. Or make that, no Xmas, please. That might be the Lakers' request of the NBA after playing on Christmas Day for the eighth straight year and coming up a loser for the fifth year in a row. You have to go back to the Eisenhower Era to find the last NBA team that played and lost on Christmas Day in each of five straight years: the woeful Knicks did it six years in a row from 1955 to 1960.