IRVING, Texas - Things were uncertain for, oh, about a half Monday night before Donovan McNabb and a stingy Eagles defense took over, overcoming a 9-7 halftime deficit with 24 unanswered points en route to a 31-9 win over Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. McNabb accounted for four touchdowns in the blowout, throwing touchdown passes of 45 and 30 yards to Greg Lewis and scrambling in twice himself from six and 15 yards out. Anybody think the Eagles are primed for a certain someone's return to the City of Brotherly Love?
Expect high drama come 3:15 p.m. (CDT) Sunday as Terrell Owens makes his return to Lincoln Financial Field to face his former teammates and, for the most part enemies, the Eagles. And while all the parties involved may say the right things, you can bet there's no love lost between McNabb and Co. and Terrell Owens, the guy who Eagles fans will tell you ruined their hopes of returning to the Super Bowl last season.
Oh yeah, there's going to be a football game too, with first place in the NFC East on the line between the 3-1 Eagles and 2-1 Cowboys. And these Eagles are no slouch: Philly has the league's No. 1 offense and McNabb is the NFC's highest rated passer with a quarterback rating of 106. Eagles running back Brian Westbrook leads all non-kickers in points with 30, despite not playing in Monday's game with a sore knee.
- McNabb has completed a pass to at least seven different receivers in every game this season. He leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,248, and the NFC in passing touchdowns with nine. A model of efficiency, he has thrown just one interception.
- For much of last season the Eagles struggled to establish a running game, mostly because they passed the ball so much. The run/pass ratio for Philly Monday was 53 percent pass to 47 percent run, though to be fair, Correll Buckhalter and Ryan Moats are no Brian Westbrook.
- Speaking of Westbrook, the fourth-year back has scored three times on the ground and twice through the air. He has 256 rushing yards and 164 receiving yards. He's third in the conference in yards from scrimmage with 420. In eight career games against the Cowboys, Westbrook averages just more than 40 yards rushing per game and has scored four touchdowns.
- Donte Stallworth won't be confused for T.O. anytime soon, but in three starts since being traded to the Eagles at the end of preseason, the Tennessee product has done an admirable job with 248 receiving yards and two scores. Stallworth missed last week's game with a hamstring injury and was still sore against Green Bay, catching just one ball.
- Eagles defensive end Trent Cole is tied for the league lead in sacks with five, though other Eagles defenders haven't been as productive. Philadelphia is 21st in the NFL in defense, tied for 14th against the run and are ranked 28th against the pass.
Throughout his career Donovan McNabb has given the Cowboys fits, and if the Cowboys hope to leave Philly as the NFC East leaders, they will have to slow down McNabb. After Owens was released by Philadelphia, it seemed the Eagles would be weak at receiver, as they had been before Owens arrived from San Francisco. But the position now looks to be a strength, McNabb making Stallworth, Greg Lewis, Reggie Brown and tight end L.J. Smith look good. If Westbrook cannot play for the second straight week, the Cowboys will have a decided advantage since Buckhalter and Moats don't seem ready to carry a heavy load, possibly forcing the Eagles to become pass-heavy again.
Despite Lito Sheppard and Roderick Hood not playing against Green Bay, the Eagles defense held up well, keeping the Packers out of the end zone. The Cowboys receivers are markedly better than Green Bay's, however, so the Cowboys may be able to exploit what seems to be a weaker-than-usual Eagles secondary. And with Jevon Kearse out for the season with a knee injury, Bledsoe may have plenty of time to find the open receiver if the Cowboys can deal with Cole.
- Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens - Owens played nearly 1½ seasons for the Eagles, posting a career year in 2004. Owens quickly wore out his welcome in 2005, however, as disagreements and all-out fights between teammates and coaches began to pile up.
- Cowboys linebackers coach Paul Pasqualoni - Coached Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb four years at the University of Syracuse. Pasqualoni served as the Syracuse head coach for 14 seasons. McNabb played under Pasqualoni from 1995-1998 before he was the No. 2 overall pick of the Eagles in 1999.
- Cowboys tight end Andy Thorn - Signed to the Cowboys practice squad on Tuesday. Thorn spent last season on the Eagles practice squad and went to camp with Philly again this year before he was released in August.
The Cowboys are 53-40 against the Eagles all-time . . . The Cowboys beat the Eagles twice in 2005, the first time they have swept Philadelphia since 1998 . . . Dallas has beaten the Eagles more times than they have beaten all but two teams, the Cardinals and Redskins (55) . . . Bill Parcells-coached teams are 12-10 against Philadelphia. The Cowboys are 3-3 against the Eagles during his time in Dallas.