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Eagles Rough Up Romo to Slow Cowboys

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JAIME ARON | December 16, 2007 07:55 PM EST | AP

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IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo's latest A-list girlfriend and his parents came to Texas Stadium to see the Dallas Cowboys play their final home game before the playoffs. They were treated to Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles beginning their last-gasp bid to get into the playoffs, too.

McNabb wasn't his old self, but he was good enough _ and certainly better than the out-of-whack and possibly injured Romo, leading the Eagles past the Cowboys 10-6 Sunday.

Philadelphia (6-8) could've won by more, but Brian Westbrook broke free for a 24-yard run with a little more than two minutes left. Instead of sprinting into the end zone, he stopped at the 1. Dallas (12-2) was out of timeouts, so the Eagles were able to take a knee on three straight plays rather take any chances.

Philadelphia had lost three straight and was still smarting from a nationally televised blowout loss to Dallas six weeks ago. Revenge was sweet as the Eagles ended the Cowboys' seven-game winning streak and prevented them from tying the franchise record for wins in a season. They also kept alive their hopes of snagging a wild-card berth into the postseason.

Dallas knew before kickoff the importance of this game was somewhat muted. Seattle's loss earlier Sunday gave the Cowboys at least the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye. Green Bay's win meant Dallas couldn't lock up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage.

Romo started 0-for-6 and wasn't doing much better when he injured his throwing hand in the third quarter. Considering the stirring comeback wins he led at Detroit last week and at Buffalo in October, fans were hoping to see one at home, especially after he converted a fourth down in the final four minutes. But two snaps later, Terrell Owens fell making a cut toward a sideline and Romo wound up with his third interception.

The Cowboys are still headed toward the most points in franchise history, but this was their first game without a touchdown since November 2004. They also had their fewest yards of the season.

"We came out flat. We just couldn't get anything going offensively," Owens said. "Maybe this is good for us _ a gut-check. We've just got to regroup, come back and win the last two on the road."

McNabb was 23-of-41 for 208 yards and a touchdown, which he celebrated with the kind of spread-armed, arched-back gesture Owens used when he played for the Eagles. He also ran nine times for a season-high 53 yards, including a season-best 28-yarder.

But McNabb didn't control the game. He was sacked four times and converted on only 5-of-16 third downs, several failures on third-and-short.

Credit a revved-up Dallas defense for lots of big plays _ just not enough to handle the failures of their offense and the success of a Philadelphia defense that gave up 38 points and 434 yards last time they faced the Cowboys.

Dallas didn't have a first down in the first quarter and went three quarters without a touchdown for the first time all year. Owens went from three catches last week to just two; he didn't have any the first three quarters, leading to plenty of frustration in his body language and on the sideline.

Romo was 13-of-36 for 214 yards. All three pickoffs came on balls forced to Owens. He also was sacked four times, all on the final two drives, when his banged-up hand bothered him so much he dropped a ball while cocking to throw.

His quarterback rating of 22.2 was easily the worst of his career. His previous worst was at home against Philadelphia last December, another game attended by a starlet love interest. It was Carrie Underwood then, Jessica Simpson now. When cameras spotted Simpson in the first half, she tugged the front of her pink No. 9 jersey, then mouthed the word "Romo!"

Romo's parents _ including father Ramiro, attending his first game since undergoing surgery for prostate cancer _ accepted the team's Bob Lilly Award for their son at halftime.

The Cowboys led 3-0, but went minus-1 yard on that drive. The field goal was set up by a fumble off a return of Romo's first interception.

Romo's second interception set up the game's lone touchdown, a 1-yard pass from McNabb to Reggie Brown late in the second quarter.

All either team mustered the rest of the way was a field goal. Well, the Eagles could've had more but Westbrook stopped 1 yard shy.

Westbrook gained 81 yards on 18 rushes and 63 yards on nine receptions.