That full moon over Dallas wasn't really visible through the hole in the Texas Stadium roof, but you knew it was out there.
What a first half, full of big plays and big penalties and strange mistakes, sometimes all at once.
When last we blogged, the Birds were down 14-6.
The Eagles finally went three and out when officials missed an obvious facemask penalty on Dallas’ Jason Hatcher, but the karma evened out on their next possession, when Greg Lewis grabbing Anthony Henry’s jersey somehow translated into pass interference on Dallas, setting the Birds up with first and goal from the 1. They got the ball when Asante Samuel intercepted Romo at the Cowboys’ 28, the Eagles’ first takeaway of the season. Westbrook eventually caught a 6-yard pass for the TD.
Then Tony Romo pulled a Jay Cutler, losing the handle on a handoff in his own end zone. He picked the ball up, but instead of taking a safety, he tried to make a play, and fumbled again when hit by Brian Dawkins. Chris Gocong recovered for the touchdown that gave the Birds the lead, 20-14, early in the second quarter.
The lead didn’t last long. Jones broke loose on another kickoff return, to his 44, and the Cowboys were in the end zone 8 plays later, Owens beating Brian Dawkins on a 4-yard slant. Why Dawk would be 1-on-1 vs. T.O. down there is a very good question. The Eagles’ defense seemed unable to get off the field on third down.
Then, more weirdness. McNabb hit DeSean Jackson for a 61-yard TD, except Jackson jettisoned the ball as he strode into the end zone. A stride before he strode into the end zone, as video replay showed. So the Eagles got a first down at the Cowboys’ 1. (More echoes of that Denver-San Diego game).Then Westbrook scored Jackson’s touchdown, hurdling the line.
The Eagles got a 22-yard field goal, and led 30-21. Then Romo hit Jason Witten for 42 yards, Dawk again trailing the play, and the Cowboys were able to get within 30-24 at halftime.
A few notable first-half stats: McNabb completed 14 of 19 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown, for a 120.7 passer rating. Romo completed 9 of 13 for 177 yards, 2 TDs and a pick, for a 119.4 passer rating.
T.O. had 3 catches for 89 yards, Jackson 3 for 87.