'Boys surge atop NFC East

'Boys surge atop NFC East

The Cowboys took control of the NFC East Sunday night in a big way, defeating Philadelphia, 20-16.

Tony Romo threw a 49-yard scoring strike to Miles Austin midway through the fourth quarter to help lead the Dallas Cowboys past the arch rival Philadelphia Eagles 20-16 Sunday night.

Romo finished 21-of-34 for 307 yards, one TD and one interception.

"We executed," Romo said afterwards. "I think the coaches put together a good plan. You just have to keep fighting and getting better."

With the win the Cowboys have now claimed four victories in a row and at least partially erased some of the bad memories from last year's 44-6 thumping by the Eagles on the final day of the regular season.

Philadelphia earned a wild-card berth with that win, won two playoff contests on the road and advanced to the NFC championship game, losing at Arizona.

The Cowboys, because of the loss, sat at home only to wonder "what if."

The Cowboys began their go-ahead drive after stopping McNabb on fourth-and-inches at their 45. The Eagles challenged the spot, but a replay upheld the original call.

Then on third-and-14, Romo fooled Sheldon Brown with a pump-fake and hit a wide-open Austin down the left sideline to give Dallas a 20-13 lead.

"I gave them a little pump," Romo said. "I thought they'd been jumping it a little and they went for it."

It turned out to be Austin's only catch of the night, but it was indeed the biggest play of the game.

"I made sure I caught it first," Austin. "A bunch of the guys were making fun of me because I took so long to see it in my hands."

Gerald Sensabaugh's interception on Philadelphia's first possession started the Cowboys off on the right foot. McNabb's pass on third-and-5 to a wide-open Jeremy Maclin hit him in the hands and bounced to Sensabaugh.

Six plays later, Tashard Choice, operating out of the Wildcast, ran in from the 2 after taking a shotgun snap with Romo lined up wide to the right. Romo completed two third-down passes to keep the drive going, including a 21-yard gain to Kevin Ogletree on third-and-9.

Philadelphia would rally behind McNabb and LeSean McCoy, who got the start in place of the injured Bryant Westbrook with a 77-yard drive of its own.

McCoy turned a short pass into a 45-yard gain with the Eagles trailing 10-6. One play later, McNabb escaped the rush and found Brent Celek in the corner of the end zone to put Philadelphia ahead 13-10.

Dallas would tie it at 13 before Austin's big play saved the day.

Defensively the Cowboys held receiver DeSean Jackson to just two catches through three quarters. Jackson has six TDs this season, all for 50-plus yards. He has four TD catches and he's scored on a run and a punt return.

"We didn't let him get behind us," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "Both our corners played well."

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