Everything went the Eagles’ way prior to the 4pm start. On this last weekend, Houston defeated Chicago and Oakland did likewise to Tampa Bay. If the 8-6-1 Eagles defeated the 9-6 Dallas Cowboys, the playoffs included our city. What happened was a superb display of power from both units. Special teams also were right on target. The first quarter ended 3 to 3.
Now the fund began. Donovan McNabb thew a 63 yard screen pass to Correll Buckwater. The cork blew off the bottle. McNabb began completing passes with ease to Bret Celek, DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Reggie Brown. McNabb and Buckwalter scored touchdowns and the Eagles led 17 to 3 with about 90 seconds on the clock. After the kickoff, Philadelphia tried to keep the Dallas players in bounds after runs and catches; the Cowboys the reverse, hoping to narrow the score before hitting the locker room. Things changed for the better.
Tony Romo, from the Dallas 40, threw a lolly pop that Sheldon Brown intercepted and ran back to the Dallas 40; we were moving in the opposite direction. Reggie Brown caught a pass for a ten yard gain. Adams Jones tackled Reggie and cruelly twisted him with both players out of bounds. Add 15 yards. DeSean Jackson caught a pass at the 10. Terrance Newman blocked Jackson in the End Zone. With the ball at the one, Philadelphia got a touchdown with Bret Celek catching a pass. Philadelphia 24 Dallas 3. But that ain’t all. Adams Jones fumbled the kickoff return and Omar Gather recovered. David Ackers kicked a 50 yard field goal and a happy bunch left the field leading 27 to 3 at halftime.
This was a tribute to Brian Dawkins. With 12 minutes left in the quarter, Dallas had the ball on a drive at the Eagles 28. I still did not feel we slammed the door. Tony Romo dropped back to pass. Dawkins, on a safety blitz, ripped the ball loose. Chris Clemmons recovered and went 63 yards for the score. Beautiful play but the Cowboys never give up and were driving again. Romo threw a screen to Felix Jones, who caught the ball at the Philadelphia two. Just as Jones turned, Dawk tore the ball loose. Julio Hanson picked it up and went 98 yards for a touchdown. Dallas coach Wade Phipps looked forlorn on the sidelines as the fireworks went off.
Despite this, the Cowboys kept trying to score. Romo moved his left, Darren Howard smashed him, Romo fumbled, and Trevor Laws recovered. This led to a field goal and a 44 to 3 lead after three quarters.
Dallas foolishly kicked a field goal with seven minutes left. Why would a team do this?
The Philadelphia Eagles headed for the Wild Card Game at Minnesota. This 44 to 6 win was one of the greatest in the Birds’ history. It also showed how statistics can lie.
Total yards gained-the Eagles 303 to 298;
First downs-the Cowboys 16 to 15.
Invisible difference but
Philadelphia led in sacks, 4 for 22 yards and the Cowboys only one for nine yards.
Philadelphia was a plus for in turnovers, five to one.