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Cowboys like the ending to this latest Philadelphia story

Dallas avenges last year's season-ending loss to the Eagles with a 20-16 victory. The Cowboys' fourth straight win gives them sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

November 09, 2009|Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Now the Dallas Cowboys can forget about last season's awful finish.

Tony Romo threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin midway through the fourth quarter as the Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-16, Sunday night in the 100th meeting between the division rivals.

On the final day of the 2008 regular season, the Eagles dominated Dallas, 44-6, in a do-or-die game for both teams. Philadelphia earned a wild-card berth with that victory, won two playoff contests on the road and advanced to the NFC championship game, losing at Arizona.

The Cowboys (6-2) spent the whole off-season thinking about that awful ending. They got their revenge and took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East with their fourth straight victory.

"Our last loss against them really motivated us to come out and play good," Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.

The Eagles fell to 5-3 and the New York Giants are 5-4 after a 5-0 start.

Romo completed 21 of 34 passes for 307 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. "We executed," he said. "I think the coaches put together a good plan. You just have to keep fighting and getting better."

Donovan McNabb was shaky after a strong performance in a 40-17 rout of the Giants last week. McNabb threw for 227 yards and one TD and was intercepted twice for the first time this season.

The Cowboys began their go-ahead drive after stopping McNabb on fourth and inches at their 45.

On third and 14, Romo fooled Sheldon Brown with a pump-fake and hit a wide-open Austin down the left sideline to give Dallas a 20-13 lead.

"You knew he would probably get it at some point," Romo said of Austin. "He's a good player."

Austin leads the Cowboys with seven touchdown catches, three fewer than Terrell Owens had last season.

David Akers kicked a 52-yard field goal to cut it to 20-16, but the Eagles never got the ball back.

The Eagles played without star running back Brian Westbrook for the second straight game because of a concussion, and strongside linebacker Chris Gocong sat out with hamstring and quad injuries.

Westbrook was expected to play, but he had a mild headache on Friday. He underwent more tests and the Eagles held him out as a precaution. LeSean McCoy started for Westbrook.

The Cowboys held receiver DeSean Jackson to two catches for 29 yards.

Jackson has six touchdowns this season, all for 50-plus yards. He has four touchdown catches and he's scored on a run and a punt return.

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