PHILADELPHIA (ESPN.com news services) -- Donovan McNabb went to his knees and buried
his face in the grass. The pain from his groin injury and his
game-turning interception were far worse than anything Terrell
Owens could've done.
The Eagles' problems are much bigger than T.O. now.
Roy Williams intercepted McNabb's pass and ran it back 46 yards
for a touchdown with 2:43 left, leading the Dallas Cowboys to a
21-20 comeback victory over Philadelphia on Monday night in the
Eagles' first game since Owens was told he's no longer welcome.
"I'm tired of answering T.O. questions," McNabb said. "T.O.
is not here."
At first it looked as if that didn't matter. Philadelphia was in
control most of the game, showing poise, running the ball well and
playing with the team-oriented balance they talked about all week.
Then Drew Bledsoe connected with Terry Glenn on a 20-yard TD
pass with 3:04 left that cut it to 20-14. On the second play after
the ensuing kickoff, McNabb's poorly thrown pass was picked off by
Williams, who outran McNabb as the quarterback tried to tackle him.
"I didn't really think he was gonna throw the ball," Williams
said. "My eyes lit up and the rest is history."
McNabb was hobbling badly after that play with a groin injury,
and was scheduled for an MRI exam Tuesday. McNabb, who is playing
with a sports hernia that will require surgery, played one more
series after the interception before giving way to Mike McMahon for
the Eagles' final possession.
"It never should of happened," McNabb said. "I was trying to
get the ball to Reggie (Brown) and Roy just did an excellent job
coming from underneath."
The Eagles had a final chance, but David Akers' 60-yard field
goal attempt failed miserably.
The reigning NFC champion Eagles (4-5) lost their third straight
game for the first time since 1999 and fell further behind in the
NFC East standings. Dallas (6-3) is tied with the New York Giants
for first place, one game ahead of Washington.
When it was over, Dallas coach Bill Parcells shook his head in
disbelief as he approached Andy Reid, whose Eagles outplayed the
Cowboys until Dallas' two touchdowns 21 seconds apart. The Cowboys
lost a Monday night game in similar fashion to Washington in the
second week of the season, giving up two long touchdown passes to
Santana Moss in the waning minutes.
Hours before the game, Parcells attended his younger brother's
funeral in New Jersey. Don Parcells died of brain cancer last week.
He was 62.
"There was a lot of emotion for me today," Bill Parcells said.
"I don't mean to dwell on that. I got a message today that said,
'Don't have a troubled heart.' And I don't. I've got those guys in
For a while, it seemed the Eagles had overcome the distractions
caused by Owens' departure and were headed toward an important
victory. But McNabb made one of the costliest mistakes of his
Owens was suspended one day before Philadelphia's 17-10 loss to
Washington last Sunday. He was told not to return to the team a day
later following a series of incidents, including harsh criticism of
the organization and McNabb.
A grievance hearing for Owens' four-game suspension is scheduled
for Friday, but the Eagles plan to deactivate the All-Pro wideout
the rest of the season no matter the outcome.
But Philly's wideouts -- Brown and Greg Lewis -- combined for just
six catches for 57 yards. Owens had 47 catches for 763 yards and
six TDs in seven games.
A big play by Philly's struggling defense set up the go-ahead
score in the second quarter.
Three plays later, McNabb ran in from the 2 for his first
rushing TD this season as the Eagles took a 14-7 lead at halftime.
McNabb did his part to replace Owens' end zone theatrics. He
spiked the ball and moonwalked, far less exciting than any of
Owens' innovative TD celebrations.
The Eagles quickly established their ground game on the opening
drive, running the ball on seven of the first 11 plays. Even
McNabb, a reluctant runner this season because of his injuries,
took off for a 9-yard gain on the second play.
Westbrook ran in from the 15 -- the team's first rushing TD since
Week 3 -- to cap the drive and give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Philadelphia came in throwing the ball almost 75 percent of the
time, the most in the NFL.
A 58-yard pass from Bledsoe to Peerless Price put Dallas at the
Eagles 3, and Barber ran it in from the 1 on his third try to tie
it at 7.
Akers kicked field goals of 48 and 20 yards in the second half
for the Eagles to make it 20-7.
The notoriously boorish Philly fans were just as eager to move
on without Owens as the team. Before the game, radio station WIP-AM
held a mock funeral for Owens in which fans put their No. 81
jerseys -- and even some money -- in a casket. One of the talk-show
hosts, Howard Eskin, cremated one of the jerseys and spread the
ashes in the end zone.
Owens' Friday appeal hearing of his four-game suspension will take place at the Eagles' practice facility, ESPN has confirmed. This will allow Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb, and possibly other Eagles employees to testify more easily. The grievance hearing will be run by arbitrator Richard Bloch. ... Dallas' won in Philly for the first time since a 34-0
victory in a Monday night game at the now-demolished Veterans Stadium in 1998. ... Eagles TE L.J. Smith left in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle and SS Michael Lewis had a