Final

Eagles 0

(11-5, 5-3 away)

Cowboys 24

(11-5, 6-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, January 3, 2010

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 0 0 0 00
DAL 7 10 7 024

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 311 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: F. Jones (DAL) - 15 CAR, 91 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: P. Crayton (DAL) - 4 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD

Romo's early touchdowns guide Cowboys to NFC East title

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For an entire year, the Dallas Cowboys have had to deal with the fallout from a crushing, season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now it is the Eagles' turn -- for this week, at least.

More from ESPN.com

Quite simply, Dallas has become the most complete team in the NFC -- and it couldn't have happened at a better time, writes Matt Mosley. Blog


The Cowboys finally appear to realize that how you play at the end of the year might dictate how far you go in January, writes Calvin Watkins. Story


Jerry Jones won't quite commit to bringing back his head coach next season, but he'd be a fool to fire Wade Phillips, writes Tim MacMahon. Story

Tony Romo threw a pair of early touchdown passes and the defense took over from there, carrying Dallas to a 24-0 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday that was filled with milestones for the Cowboys, the most important being that they won the NFC East and will host a rematch in the first round of the playoffs next weekend.

Some of the other good stuff for Dallas: Posting consecutive shutouts for the first time in team history, Romo and the entire offense setting all sorts of single-season records, having a winning record after Dec. 1 for the first time since 1996 and ending a nine-game losing streak in season finales.

With all that going their way, perhaps the Cowboys (11-5) can finally a win a playoff game for the first time since '96. Kickoff will be 8 p.m. ET Saturday night.

Fast Facts

• Shutting out the Eagles for only the second time ever, the Cowboys clinched the NFC East and will host Philadelphia next weekend in the playoffs.

• Dallas tossed back-to-back shutouts for the first time in franchise history.

• Tony Romo threw for 311 yards and finished the season with a team record 4,483 passing yards, breaking his own record set in 2007.

• Felix Jones and Marion Barber each rushed for 91 yards as the Cowboys take a three-game winning streak into the playoffs.

• The Eagles were shut out for the first time since Week 13 of the 2005 season.

• Bloggers' wrapups

• Rapid reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"This ballclub has done a good job of putting its best foot forward when it has to," Romo said. "We haven't arrived and we haven't accomplished anything. This is a step in the process to continue to get to where we want to go. It's a positive one, definitely, but we still need to keep improving. There's hopefully a lot of season left."

The Cowboys won the division two years ago, then opened the playoffs at home against a division rival they'd beaten twice that season -- and lost.

But this Dallas team seems to be different. Since opening December with consecutive losses, they've won three straight, knocking off the Saints when they were 13-0, then shutting out Washington on the road and now blanking the powerful Eagles (11-5).

Philadelphia came in having already set the franchise scoring record and riding a six-game winning streak during which it averaged 31.2 points per game. The Eagles still had a lot to play for because a victory would've locked up the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

The loss sinks them all the way to the sixth seed, the lower of two wild cards.

"It's kind of embarrassing," said tight end Brent Celek, who led Philadelphia with seven catches for 96 yards. "I didn't expect to come down here and play like this. We're lucky we have another opportunity to play again. That's all we can ask for."

Donovan McNabb threw for 223 yards and the Eagles gained just 228 overall. The Cowboys had 291 yards by halftime, on their way to gaining 474.

Philadelphia's game-breaking receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin failed to have any plays longer than 32 yards, and that was better than they did in the first matchup. The defense saw Romo go 24 of 34 for 311 yards; he went over 300 in both meetings.

"We're going to go back to the drawing board," coach Andy Reid said.

The challenge for the Cowboys is coming up with more of the same.

Romo finished this season with the most attempts, completions and yards passing ever by a Cowboys quarterback. His nine interceptions are by far the fewest of his career. Dallas also set a record for single-season yards.

Yet it's the defense -- which is run by coach Wade Phillips -- that is carrying this team.

Over the last four games, the Cowboys faced the NFL's three highest-scoring offenses and held all of them to their fewest points of the season. These back-to-back shutouts are quite the capper. It hasn't been done in the NFL since Tennessee did it in 2000, and it's only the third time in 50 seasons that Dallas has posted two shutouts in year.

"There's no secret," linebacker Keith Brooking said. "We have a great coaching staff on our defense, we have players that really care about what they're doing. ... They believe in the system and accepted their roles. As long as we continue to do that, I really like our chances."

Team owner Jerry Jones called Phillips "the MVP of the defense" earlier this week. Now that Phillips has won two division titles in his three seasons in charge, Jones is likely to pick up the team option on the coach's contract for next season; that was iffy just a few weeks ago.

Jones had plenty to love about this game -- from the biggest crowd since the opener (100,621) to the payday of a home playoff game at his $1.2 billion stadium. In the final minutes, the giant video boards showed him celebrating in his suite, wearing a gray division champion hat along with guests Emmitt Smith and golfer John Daly.

This victory also validates all the moves he had since the 44-6 loss to the Eagles last year.

"It's very satisfying," he said.

The stadium was buzzing long before kickoff, with flag wavers running out with sparklers flying out the top of their flagpoles.

Romo threw touchdowns on his first and third drives. The Cowboys were inside the 10 on the series in between, but a pass was tipped and intercepted. Dallas got a field goal for a 17-0 halftime lead. The only second-half points came on a 49-yard touchdown run from Felix Jones.

Philadelphia's best drive reached the Dallas 14 in the second quarter, then McNabb fumbled a low snap from new center Nick Cole. The Eagles never got anything going in the second half. Reid let David Akers try a 53-yard field goal and he missed.

Game notes


Dallas' third-down RB Tashard Choice left with a concussion. ... Suisham missed a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. ... The stadium's video boards blanked out for about a minute late in the fourth quarter. ... The Cowboys didn't score a TD on their opening drive in the first 13 games, but have now done it in three straight. ... Because of a midseason trade, Eagles LB Will Witherspoon became only the fifth player to play 17 regular-season games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PHI
DAL
1st Downs1021
Passing 1st downs
915
Rushing 1st downs
14
1st downs from Penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
3-125-13
4th down efficiency
0-10-1
Total Plays5068
Total Yards228474
Yards per play4.67.0
Total Drives1111
Passing191295
Comp - Att
20-3624-34
Yards per pass
5.38.7
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks - Yards Lost
4-322-16
Rushing37179
Rushing Attempts
1032
Yards per rush
3.75.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-12-4
Penalties6-5811-80
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession19:3740:23

Passing Leaders

PHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
McNabb20/362236.2004-32
DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Romo24/343119.1212-16

Rushing Leaders

PHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Westbrook5173.408
McNabb284.008
DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones15916.1149
Barber14916.5032

Receiving Leaders

PHIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Celek79613.70259
Jackson34715.70328
DALRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Crayton49924.81326
Austin79012.90408

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPHIDAL
dalTD10:35Jason Witten 10 Yd Pass From Tony Romo (Shaun Suisham Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERPHIDAL
dalTD06:18Patrick Crayton 14 Yd Pass From Tony Romo (Shaun Suisham Kick) 014
dalFG01:04Shaun Suisham 44 Yd 017
THIRD QUARTERPHIDAL
dalTD05:46Felix Jones 49 Yd Run (Shaun Suisham Kick) 024