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Dawkins does it all in Eagles' victory

9/29/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brian Dawkins gave teams another reason to
fear him.

Question on the Texans: Will the running game develop enough at some point to take some pressure off David Carr?
The basic problem in Houston is that there are new teammates who are trying to gel. Carr will be a good QB, I believe, but Carr-to-Bradford won't be able to keep defenses honest alone. That has to start with the running game, which is still a question mark.

Question on the Eagles: Have the Texans, Cowboys and Redskins been good enough tests to fairly judge the Eagles?
The Eagles are a terrific defensive team with an awesome quarterback. The teams they've played are the best judges of that, and they would agree wholeheartedly. The key for the Eagles' offense is that no one has yet stepped up to take some pressure off McNabb, especially in the running game. Duce Staley or Dorsey Levens must step up if the Eagles are to be serious contenders, because it's too much to expect McNabb to be the quarterback and running back.

Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Dawkins, an All-Pro safety, caught his first career touchdown
pass, had an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery, leading
the Philadelphia Eagles to a 35-17 victory over the expansion
Houston Texans on Sunday.

He became the first player in NFL history to get all four in the
same game.

"I never thought I'd get it all the way,'' Dawkins said of the
TD catch. "I just wanted to get the first down. When I looked up,
I saw one guy to beat and I knew the two guys coming behind me
weren't going to catch me.''

Donovan McNabb completed 24-of-42 passes for 259 yards and one
touchdown, and Duce Staley added two 1-yard TD runs as Philadelphia
cruised to its third consecutive double-digit victory.

Since wasting a 14-point halftime lead in a season-opening loss
at Tennessee, the Eagles (3-1) have beaten Washington, Dallas and
Houston by a combined 79 points.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Dawkins has earned a reputation
for being a fierce hitter who has a knack for making big plays in
the secondary. Now he proved he has some offensive skills, too.

"Dawkins has some goods hands,'' McNabb said. "When you have a
guy who can roam the backfield like that and is a good blitzer, you
have to keep your eyes on him.''

David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, was
16-of-29 for 188 yards and two touchdowns to Corey Bradford. The
Texans (1-3) have lost three in a row since beating the Cowboys in
their opener.

"Respect is nice, but wins are a lot better than respect,''
Texans defensive tackle Seth Payne said. "I'd rather be
disrespected and go 16-0.''

After Carr's 23-yard pass to Bradford gave Houston a 7-0 lead,
the Eagles scored the next 28 points.

On the first possession of the second half, return specialist
Brian Mitchell threw a 57-yard TD pass to Dawkins on a fake punt,
and McNabb hit Chad Lewis on the 2-point conversion for a 28-7
lead.

The Eagles, who converted a fake field goal last week, lined up
for a punt from their 43. Mitchell took the direct snap, ran to his
left and shoveled a pass to Dawkins, who cut inside and ran
untouched into the end zone.

"We've been practicing it for a long time,'' Mitchell said.
"We finally got to use it.''

Houston came right back on a 29-yard TD pass from Carr to
Bradford.

But the Texans failed to take advantage of two fumbles inside
Philadelphia territory and the Eagles put it away on a 38-yard
catch-and-run TD pass from McNabb to James Thrash.

After a fumble recovery by Marcus Coleman gave the Texans the
ball at Philadelphia's 42, Carr's pass was intercepted by Bobby Taylor in the end zone to end a threat.

A 48-yard field goal by Kris Brown got Houston within 28-17, and
the Texans again got the ball at Philadelphia's 42 after a fumble
by Cecil Martin. But after moving to the Eagles' 31, two incomplete
passes and two penalties pushed the Texans out of field-goal range.

"We were able to come up with three turnovers, but we weren't
able to turn them into points,'' Texans coach Dom Capers said.
"That's the big difference.''

McNabb, who signed a 12-year, $115 million contract Friday,
wasn't as sharp as for his first three games. He misfired on his
first three passes and threw an interception on his fourth attempt.
Houston sacked McNabb three times and had two more sacks negated by
penalties.

Trailing 7-0, Philadelphia settled for a 25-yard field goal by
David Akers. But on Houston's next possession, Darwin Walker
stripped the ball from Carr after the rookie quarterback had run 9
yards on third-and-6. Dawkins recovered, and Staley later ran in
from the 1 to make it 10-7.

The drive was kept alive when McNabb was sacked on third-and-10,
but a facemask penalty on Jay Foreman gave the Eagles a first down.

Staley's second 1-yard run made it 17-7. Again, a crucial
penalty cost Houston. McNabb was sacked on third-and-11 from
Philadelphia's 48, but a holding call on safety Chris Carter kept
the drive going.

After Carr was intercepted by Dawkins on the next drive, Akers
hit a 41-yarder to make it 20-7 at halftime.

Game notes
Mitchell and CB Troy Vincent became the first players in NFL
history to play against 32 teams. ... The Eagles have scored at
least 20 points in the first half of each game. ... Houston CB
Jason Bell broke his left wrist in the first half. There was no
immediate word on how long he'll be out. ... McNabb went 85 passes
without throwing an interception before Eric Brown picked him off
in the first quarter. ... Carr was sacked seven times, brining his
season total to 26.