|NFC East title: Eagles lead Dallas 17-16 after 3|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 29 December 2013 16:49|
The winner gets the NFL's final playoff spot, the No. 3 seed in the NFC, and will host New Orleans next Saturday night. The loser is done for the season.
Dan Bailey's field goals of 43 and 36 yards for Dallas accounting for the only points in the third quarter. The second kick set up after Nick Foles was sacked and fumbled. DeMarcus Ware recovered at the Eagles 20, but the Cowboys were held without a first down.
Philly quarterback Nick Foles was stopped short on a fourth-and-goal keeper from inside the 1 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
McCoy, whose TD catch from Foles came early in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead, also had 16 carries for 90 yards. That put him at 1,566 yards, and a half from officially becoming the first Philadelphia running back since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949 to lead the NFL in rushing.
Philadelphia, trying to win its first NFC East title since 2010, went ahead on Alex Henery's 47-yard field goal, which came seven plays after DeMarco Murray fumbled on the Cowboys' opening drive of the game.
This is the third season in a row the Cowboys have been in a playoffs-of-bust finale against an NFC East rival. They lost the last two on the road, at Washington and the New York Giants, and five years ago lost 44-6 at Philadelphia in the same situation.
Dallas was without quarterback Tony Romo and linebacker Sean Lee, its defensive leader.
Romo, a week after a fourth-down touchdown pass to win at Washington, had back surgery Friday and wasn't even at the stadium. Lee missed his third straight game with a sprained neck.
Kyle Orton, starting in Romo's place, was 23-of-33 passing for 234 yards through three quarters with a touchdown and an interception just before halftime.
Mychael Kendricks had the pick near midfield on the first play after the 2-minute warning. The Eagles scored on two passes from Foles to tight-end Brent Celek, for 35 yards and then 14 yards for the touchdown.
The Cowboys came back to get a 44-yard field goal from Bailey with 18 seconds left.
Orton threw a 17-yard TD midway through the second quarter to rookie tight end Gavin Escobar, who went airborne at the 3 over safety Nate Allen to dive into the end zone and get the Cowboys within 10-7.
Foles completed 15 of 24 passes for 238 yards with the two scores through three quarters.
At home in October against the Cowboys, Foles was 11 of 29 for 80 yards before getting knocked out of the 17-3 loss with a concussion at the end of the third quarter. That was only his second start after replacing injured Michael Vick, and the only game this season Chip Kelly's high-flying offense was held without a touchdown.
Jamaal Charles, one of the Kansas City starters who didn't play in the Chiefs' regular season finale Sunday, was the closest to McCoy with 1,287 yards.
Murray had 1,122 yards after running for 49 yards on 16 carries.
Orton, who had thrown only 15 passes over three games in two seasons as Romo's backup, had last started a game almost exactly two years earlier.
The 31-year-old Orton entered with a 35-34 record in 69 starts in nine NFL seasons. His last was in Week 17 of 2011 for Kansas City in a 7-3 victory over the Denver Broncos. He had started that season with Denver, but was released after losing the starting job to Tim Tebow, who led the Broncos to the playoffs.
The last time Dallas made the playoffs was 2009, their first year in their $1.2 billion stadium. That meant playing the Eagles at home in consecutive weeks, winning the regular-season finale 24-0 and then winning in the NFC wild-card game 34-14 the next week.