-- The Philadelphia Eagles' reign atop the NFC East could be all but over. They're in last place in the division they won the previous four seasons and reeling from a stunning 21-20 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys here Monday night. They're without banished wide receiver Terrell Owens, and now quarterback Donovan McNabb's injuries probably will force him to the sideline.
Coach Andy Reid said during a news conference Tuesday that it's unlikely McNabb will play Sunday against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. McNabb, who has been playing all season with a sports hernia, underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday after leaving Monday's game with groin and abdominal soreness. McNabb was scheduled to be examined by a specialist, and Reid said he would address the quarterback's status further on Wednesday.
Reid said he hadn't decided whether Koy Detmer or Mike McMahon would start against the Giants if McNabb is unavailable.
It has been a season of injuries and disappointments for McNabb, and he got abundant doses of both Monday night. He vowed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to keep playing, if possible, and finish the Eagles' season before undergoing hernia surgery. After Monday's loss, in which the NFC champions squandered a 20-7 lead with less than four minutes remaining, it's possible the Eagles' season -- at least the competitive portion -- is over.
"I'm going to keep fighting and try to help this team, if nothing is torn and I have the opportunity," McNabb said of his injury. "I never quit."
There were similar pledges by other Eagles players in their postgame locker room, but it also was clear the club was shaken and bewildered by the loss. The Eagles were left with their first three-game losing streak since 1999, Reid's first season with the team. They're 0-3 in NFC East play and 4-5 overall. They're winless in their two games since getting rid of Owens, their controversial wide receiver, and they are in serious danger of becoming the fifth straight Super Bowl loser to follow up with a losing season.
For most of the evening Monday, it appeared the Eagles were on their way to a crisp win that might have gone a long way toward reassembling their season. But the Cowboys got to 20-14 on quarterback Drew Bledsoe's 20-yard touchdown pass to wideout Terry Glenn with 3 minutes 4 seconds to go. Instead of sticking with a running game that had been unusually effective all night and trying to take time off the clock, the Eagles called a pass play on second and seven from their 38-yard line.
Rookie Reggie Brown, Owens's replacement in the starting lineup, was to run what is called a conversion route. It was to be a short hitch pattern -- unless he was covered tightly, in which case he was supposed to take off straight up the field on a go route.
Brown was covered tightly, and he took off. But McNabb threw short, directly to Cowboys safety Roy Williams. Williams made the interception and ran 46 yards for a touchdown, with McNabb limping off the field after attempting to make the tackle. He played one more series before giving way to McMahon, who got the Eagles into position for David Akers's 60-yard field goal try that fell short as time expired.
"It was all going our way," Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse said. "And then, all of a sudden, it just fell apart."
Emotional Monday for Parcells
Monday night's win came at the end of an emotionally draining day for Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells, who attended his brother Don's funeral earlier in the day in New Jersey. Don Parcells died last week from brain cancer at age 62.
"There's a lot of emotion for me here today," Bill Parcells said after the game. "I don't mean to dwell on any of that, but I'll tell you what I told the players. I got a message there today that said, 'Don't have a troubled heart,' and I don't. I've got those guys in" the locker room. . . .
The Pittsburgh Steelers were cringing in recent weeks at the notion of having the struggling Tommy Maddox as their starting quarterback. But they might have little choice this week, with Ben Roethlisberger still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and Charlie Batch sidelined by a broken right hand.
The Steelers have hopes Roethlisberger will play Sunday at Baltimore, but first he'll have to test the knee on the practice field. He is listed as questionable for Sunday. The club won its past two games with Batch as the starter, including Sunday night's triumph over the Cleveland Browns. Batch hurt his hand late in the first half and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.
Giants' Co-Owner Tisch Dies
Robert Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants and a civic leader in New York City for several decades, died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 79.
Tisch died at his home, a family publicist said.
Three weeks ago on Oct. 25, the Giants' other co-owner, Wellington Mara, also died of cancer. Mara was the son of team founder Timothy J. Mara.
Tisch bought 50 percent of the Giants in 1991 from Tim Mara, Wellington Mara's nephew, not long after the Giants beat Buffalo in the Super Bowl. . . .
Perhaps no other team in the NFL had more reasons to give up on its season than the Minnesota Vikings. They became a national punch line after allegations of improper and possibly criminal sexual conduct arose from a boat cruise last month reportedly attended by close to 20 Vikings players. They lost five of their first seven games in a season in which their bolstered defense was supposed to compensate for the offseason exit of wide receiver Randy Moss. Standout quarterback Daunte Culpepper suffered a season-ending knee injury.
But suddenly, they've won two straight games with Brad Johnson at quarterback to move back into playoff contention.
"Obviously, our football team hasn't given up," Coach Mike Tice said after Sunday's upset of the Giants. . . .
Patriots center Dan Koppen is out for the season after injuring his shoulder on Sunday against Miami. New England also put defensive back Randall Gay on injured reserve with an ankle injury. The team signed cornerback Artrell Hawkins and offensive lineman Gene Mruczkowski. . . .
Arizona placed injured Pro Bowl defensive end Bertrand Berry and guard Reggie Wells on injured reserve, ending their seasons. Berry tore his left pectoral muscle Nov. 6 against Seattle while Wells fractured and dislocated his left ankle in last Sunday's loss at Detroit. . . . Team owners began a two-day meeting Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo. The meeting had been scheduled for the week Mara died but was postponed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.