Eagles beat Cowboys 24-22 to take NFC East title

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 11:54 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nick Foles and Philadelphia's high-scoring offense needed a little help from the defense to make sure it was the same old sad ending for the Dallas Cowboys.

Foles threw two touchdown passes, one to NFL rushing champion LeSean McCoy, and Brandon Boykin had a game-sealing interception to help the Eagles beat the Cowboys 24-22 in a win-or-go-home game for the NFC East title Sunday night.

The Cowboys lost to a division rival with a playoff berth on the line for the third straight year, and nobody can blame Tony Romo for this crushing loss.

Kyle Orton, filling in two days after Romo underwent back surgery, had Dallas about 40 yards from field goal range with 1:49 remaining. But he threw behind Miles Austin on the first play, and into the arms of Boykin.

"We kept fighting. We believed in each other," said Foles, who was 17 of 26 for 263 yards after throwing for only 80 in a 17-3 loss to Dallas at home. "When the offense was struggling, the defense picked us up."

The Eagles (10-6) will host New Orleans in a wild-card game Saturday night, while the Cowboys (8-8) have now dropped a finale to each division rival the past three seasons and have missed the playoffs four straight years. Dallas is 136-136 since the start of the 1997 season.

"It's unthinkable, really, to me to be sitting here three years in a row and this game ends up putting us at .500 and this game eliminates us from going to the playoffs," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

McCoy, who had a 3-yard scoring catch, rushed for 131 yards to finish with 1,607 yards and become the first Philadelphia running back to win the rushing title since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949.

"With the stats and the records, none of that stuff means anything, if you don't win in the end," McCoy said. "That's the most important thing."

The Eagles won the division for the first time since 2010 a year after going 4-12, which led to Andy Reid's departure and the hiring of Chip Kelly and his fast-paced offense from Oregon.

Dallas trailed 24-16 when Orton threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant. Orton went back to Bryant for the 2-point conversion, but Cary Williams dove to punch the ball away.

But the Eagles, with the second-ranked offense in the NFL, couldn't run out the clock against the league's worst defense. Foles even tried to throw on third down, but had to slide short of the first down when nobody was open.

Boykin took care of things from there.

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