Best Eagles Cowboys Moment of My Life #6
JEFF GARCIA LEADS EAGLES TO WIN ON CHRISTMAS DAY
The Eagles were 5-6 and had just lost starting quarterback Donovan McNabb to injury for the remainder of the season. In stepped Jeff Garcia. He led the Eagles to a victory over Carolina on a Monday night to keep them alive and improve the record to 6-6. However, 3 straight division road games awaited. The Eagles took care of the Redskins 21-19, went to the Meadowlands and won 36-22, and last in the gauntlet was at Dallas on Christmas Day in which the winner was most likely going to win the division.
The amazing December turnaround of the Philadelphia Eagles continued with another road win over a division rival. Philadelphia’s surprising 23–7 Christmas Day victory over the Dallas Cowboys was broadcast on national television and clinched a playoff spot. Jeff Garcia, who outshined fellow backup-turned starting quarterback Tony Romo, led the Eagles to scores on four of their first five possessions. Capping off their first drive, which took 7:12 off the clock, Garcia hit tight end Matt Schobel for a 25-yard touchdown. Cowboys’ return man Miles Austin fumbled the ensuing kickoff to Quintin Mikell. However, Dallas cornerback Anthony Henry intercepted Garcia and the Cowboys drove to the Eagles’ 1-yard line. From there, the Philadelphia defense stuffed Dallas goal-line back Marion Barber III on three straight plays. The ball turned over on downs and Garcia promptly found Donte Stallworth for a 39-yard gain. The drive finished with a David Akers field goal and the Eagles led 10–0. Romo and the Cowboys responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, who only caught two passes for 23 yards on the game. With only :29 seconds left in the half, Garcia got the Eagles into field goal range, and David Akers connected on a 45-yarder to make it 13–7 as time expired. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Garcia beat a Dallas blitz and completed a 65-yard catch and run to L.J. Smith. Philadelphia finished the drive with another field goal and it was 16–7. Early in the fourth quarter, Brian Dawkins made an over the shoulder interception in front of Owens in the end zone. On a 6:57 drive that included ten running plays and broke the Cowboys’ backs, Correll Buckhalter pounded it in from one yard out, increasing the lead to 23–7. Romo would throw another interception, this one to Lito Sheppard, and the Eagles’ domination of the Dallas offense continued for the rest of the game. The Eagles ran the ball a whopping 42 times for 204 yards (with Brian Westbrook accounting for 122 of those yards), while Garcia and the passing game gained 238 yards. The defense recorded three sacks in addition to the two interceptions and held Dallas to a meager 201 total yards on their own turf.