With a 24-0 no-doubter in Arlington, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title--now, they have a little less than a week before having to do it again, in the first round of the playoffs.
Tony Romo, who has spent much of the past few weeks working to silence his numerous critics, continued on what has been a prolific stretch. Romo went 24 for 34 on Sunday afternoon, for 311 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His rating was a soaring 106.4.
Jason Witten found himself on the receiving end of Romo's first touchdown pass, a ten-yard grab to give Dallas an early 7-0 lead. The Dallas quarterback followed that up with a 14-yard strike to Patrick Crayton midway through the second quarter. Shaun Suisham added the extra point, extending the Dallas lead to 14, and then, with a 44-yard field goal with a minute left in the half, to 17.
As it happened, the lead would be more than enough.
The reason for this, as well, in great part, for Dallas's surge of late--three straight wins to end the regular season--was Wade Phillips' defense. The Eagles' dynamic offense, complete with weapons capable of doing a lot of damage in little time, was silenced by the unit for the first shutout of Philadelphia by the Cowboys since 1998; and the second goose egg provided by the Dallas defense in as many games.
By the time Felix Jones broke a 49-yard run for a touchdown, with around five minutes left in the third quarter, there was little doubt surrounding the NFC East Champion. Jones and Marion Barber would contribute 91 yards a piece in the 24-0 win.
With the decisive victory, Dallas finishes the regular season 11-5. They will face the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs either on Saturday night, or on Sunday; an announcement is expected later tonight.