9:00 PM ET, November 15, 2004
IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens got the fun started with a 59-yard touchdown he considered so easy that he celebrated by pretending to ice skate in the end zone. Then he followed a 27-yarder with his favorite Texas Stadium pose, spreading out his arms while standing on the Dallas Cowboys' logo.
When he scored again, Owens just dunked the ball over the crossbar. Might as well save the good stuff for a tight game, because by then the Philadelphia Eagles were well on their way to a 49-21 victory Monday night.
Donovan McNabb made sure the Eagles (8-1) bounced back from their only loss this season, throwing four touchdown passes and setting up another with an incredible, scrambling 60-yard completion. Lito Sheppard capped a record-setting night for both teams with a 101-yard interception return for another score in the closing minutes.
"The guys took pride in themselves to come out here and rebound from the loss last week," said Owens, who had 134 yards on six catches. "We came in with a passion, the pride and the character of the guys on this team, and it showed today."
The Eagles quickly showed why they should still be considered the midseason favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl by scoring 35 points in the first half -- more than they'd scored in any game this season. They wound up with their most points in a regular-season game since beating the St. Louis Cardinals 52-10 in November 1981.
"It takes a couple plays for us to get a little momentum," said McNabb, who was 15-of-28 for 345 yards with no interceptions. "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."
The most amazing play didn't reach the end zone, but that's a minor quibble.
Facing third-and-10 from the Philadelphia 25, 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 to Freddie Mitchell. Replays showed McNabb held the ball for 14 seconds before the pass.
"It felt like a video game out there," he said.
Brian Westbrook followed with a 1-yard TD run, giving Philadelphia touchdowns the last five times it had the ball before halftime, a streak that continued 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 eminently forgettable for Dallas fans as the team 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."
The Eagles loved every minute of it, especially Owens.
He was in such a good mood after his first touchdown that he and McNabb playfully argued on the sideline, mocking their sideline confrontation from last week. He celebrated his second touchdown on the Cowboys' star in the end zone, mocking his midfield moment four years ago that marked his entry into the realm of post-touchdown performers.
Owens finished with his second three-TD game of the season and upped his NFL-best total of scoring catches to 12.
|Rec. Yards: 884||575|
|TD Rec.: 12||4|
|*Eagles receiving leaders for all of '03|
"It's never easy," he said. "I just make it look easy."
Parcells grimaced through it all, knowing there was little he could do about yet another lopsided loss. The Cowboys' season is a bust, with the only curiosity left being when he'll turn the offense over to rookie quarterback Drew Henson.
Vinny Testaverde, playing two days after turning 41, was decent enough to keep the future leader on the sideline. He was 21-of-30 for 254 yards with two touchdowns to Jason Witten. Eddie George added a 15-yard touchdown run.
Testaverde's only interception came in the end zone with about five minutes left. Sheppard took it all the way, breaking past the defense around the 30. Keyshawn Johnson grabbed his collar at the goal line and just held on, knowing he was too late.
Philadelphia's biggest struggle was on third down, a problem that's bothered the Eagles for weeks. The skid ended on McNabb's 60-yarder to Mitchell.
About the only thing Philadelphia did wrong was call a timeout in the closing seconds of the first half, when the Cowboys had taken a knee and were walking to the locker room. Parcells stalked back to midfield, then stared across the field.
It was the same blank look he wore most of the night.
Dallas' last three losses have been by 21, 23 and 28 points. ... Testaverde passed Dan Fouts for sixth on the career passing list. ... An official left his microphone on in the third quarter and was heard saying, "You can tell they're frustrated. Starting to complain a lot."
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||8.0||5.8|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||8:50||TERRELL OWENS 59 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK) |
Drive: 2 plays, 59 yds, :16
|TD||0:07||DORSEY LEVENS 4 YD RUN (DAVID AKERS KICK) |
Drive: 4 plays, 14 yds, 1:09
|TD||1:45||JASON WITTEN 29 YD PASS FROM VINNY TESTAVERDE (BILLY CUNDIFF KICK) |
Drive: 3 plays, 52 yds, 1:38
|TD||5:15||TERRELL OWENS 27 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK) |
Drive: 6 plays, 77 yds, 3:30
|TD||6:58||TODD PINKSTON 59 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK) |
Drive: 2 plays, 68 yds, :46
|TD||11:37||JASON WITTEN 24 YD PASS FROM VINNY TESTAVERDE (BILLY CUNDIFF KICK) |
Drive: 8 plays, 71 yds, 4:39
|TD||14:32||BRIAN WESTBROOK 1 YD RUN (DAVID AKERS KICK) |
Drive: 7 plays, 75 yds, 2:55
|TD||3:39||EDDIE GEORGE 15 YD RUN (BILLY CUNDIFF KICK) |
Drive: 6 plays, 71 yds, 3:45
|TD||8:56||TERRELL OWENS 16 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK) |
Drive: 9 plays, 83 yds, 5:11
|TD||10:41||LITO SHEPPARD 101 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (DAVID AKERS KICK)||49||21|