Eagles 49, Cowboys 21
Donovan McNabb spun away from one would-be tackler and sprinted to his right, only to find another defender waiting. So he went back to his left, chased by two more players, and finally heaved the ball, letting loose a 60-yard pass that looked more like a punt.
From that amazing completion to Freddie Mitchell to three touchdown passes to Terrell Owens, McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles resoundingly bounced back from their first loss to beat the Dallas Cowboys, 49-21, Monday night.
McNabb was 15 of 28 for 345 yards, with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. He led Philadelphia (8-1) to six touchdowns over the first three quarters, then Lito Sheppard capped a historic night for both teams with a 101-yard interception for yet another score.
The Eagles quickly made it known that they still should be considered the midseason favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl by scoring 35 points in the first half -- more than they had scored in any game this season. They wound up with their most points since beating St. Louis, 52-10, in November 1981.
"It takes a couple plays for us to get a little momentum," McNabb said. "Once things get going, we feel confident that every play that we call is going to be effective and possibly get in the end zone."
Philadelphia scored touchdowns the last five times it had the ball before halftime, then on its first drive of the third quarter. There was the minor interruption of a punt, but the Cowboys (3-6) fumbled the return, adding to the humiliation of their fifth loss in six games -- and their eighth in nine tries against the Eagles.
This one was historically ugly as Dallas gave up its most points ever at home and its most anywhere since a 50-24 loss at Cincinnati in December 1985. The Cowboys allowed four touchdowns in one quarter (the second) for the first time in franchise history and the 35 points Philadelphia scored in the first half tied another dubious record.
After calling his team "stupid" following a 26-3 loss to Cincinnati last week, Dallas Coach Bill Parcells tried holding his tongue.
"We just got to get better," he said. "I'm not going to get into the state of the union right now. I'm just not going to do it."
The Eagles loved every minute of it, especially Owens, who pretended to skate in the end zone after his first score, a 59-yarder.