Cowboys 20, Eagles 16

How it happened

Score after first quarter:

Cowboys 7, Eagles 0

Score at halftime: Cowboys 10, Eagles 6

Score after third quarter:

Eagles 13, Cowboys 10

Team rushing yardage:

Cowboys: 76, Eagles: 89

Team passing yardage:

Cowboys: 282, Eagles: 208


Cowboys: 11-70, Eagles: 8-82

Time of possession:

Cowboys: 31:44, Eagles: 28:16

Eagles' best number: 3 (field goals by place-kicker David Akers)

Eagles' worst number: 2 (Donovan McNabb interceptions)

You had to be there

Sunday afternoon's gorgeous weather prompted a lot of Eagles fans to blow off the 1 p.m. TV games and head outside. Cape May's promenade and Lower Township's bayfront were jammed with joggers, cyclists, walkers and sightseers. Most were wearing Eagles gear, save for a few Giants fans. One home was flying a Miami Dolphins flag.

Three stars

1. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (came up with big catches in the clutch)

2. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (stepped up in place of Brian Westbrook)

3. Cowboys nosetackle Jay Ratliff (always in the Eagles' backfield)

Turning point

The Eagles were tied 13-13 and were facing a fourth-and-one situation from the Cowboys' 45-yard line with 10 minutes, 29 seconds left in regulation. McNabb appeared to gain the necessary yardage for a first down, but the officials ruled he was stopped a foot short. Eagles coach Andy Reid wasted his final timeout on a challenge and was overruled. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hit Miles Austin for a 49-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to put the Cowboys ahead 20-13.

Eagles' best play

Wide receiver Jason Avant made a leaping, 23-yard reception against Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick on the first play of the second quarter. It helped set up the first of Akers' two field goals.

Eagles' worst play

Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton got behind Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Tracy White for a 64-yard gain on a second-quarter pass from Romo. Samuel also missed a tackle on the play, allowing Crayton to gain about 20 extra yards.

Did you notice?

The Eagles put intense pressure on Romo during Dallas' first drive. Juqua Parker got the first sack. ... McNabb had attempted 124 passes without an interception before throwing one in the first quarter. ... Eagles middle linebacker Will Witherspoon got the first shot at covering tight end Witten. ... Running back Tashard Choice took a direct snap on his 2-yard TD run. ... Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was covering Witten on the next pass his way. ... Todd Herremans was called for a costly illegal-formation penalty upon replacing Jason Peters at left tackle. Peters suffered a sprained right ankle. ... Stacy Andrews really struggled at right guard. ... Peters returned in the second half. ... Michael Vick was on the field for two plays. He ran for 2 yards in the second quarter and handed off to McCoy in the third.

Parting shots

Eagles coach Andy Reid: "I can't go into challenges. I can't do that unless you (the media) are willing to pay for it. They go the way they go."

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips: "It was a hard-fought win. We knew it would be that way here. We knew it was going to be a tough game."

David Weinberg

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