When the Dallas Cowboys blitzed the Charger defense with that furious second-half rally that turned a 10-point San Diego lead into a stunning 42-31 triumph for the home side, they did more than win a game that allowed them to remain within closing distance of the high-flying Eagles.

The victory over the Chargers, a team that many NFL experts feel to be one of the strongest Super Bowl contenders, enabled the Cowboys to salvage a bit of pride for the NFC.

Going into the final interconference clash of the first half of the current campaign, the AFC held an 11-game lead over the NFC.

The Dallas triumph over San Diego pulled the total NFC East standings up to the .500 level, making that division the only one in the conference without an overall losing record. That's because the Eagles and the Cowboys have won 13 games between them to offset the losing efforts of the Cardinals, Redskins and Giants.

EARLY NFL LINES: Washington 7 over Minnesota, Buffalo 4 over Atlanta, San Diego 4 over Cincinnati, Detroit 8 over San Francisco, Kansas City 2 over Baltimore, Pittsburgh 14 over Green Bay, Tampa Bay 7 over N.Y. Giants, Dallas 5 over St. Louis, Houston 3 over Denver, Los Angeles 14 over New Orleans, New England 11 over N.Y. Jets, Oakland 7 over Miami, Philadelphia 3 over Seattle, (Monday) Cleveland 5 over Chicago.