Saving Best Monday Night Game For Last

as blowing the whistle. The play is over on the spot.   So despite the Cowboys' challenge, the Eagles still retained possession on the one-yard line.

The play really made no difference on the game unless you have McNabb on your fantasy team and you lost by a few points to a team that had Westbrook, who scored on the very next play.

Both teams traded field goals before halftime to end this wild and crazy first half.

Whew, catch your breath. The Eagles led 30-24 at the half.

So much for this defensive showdown, right? Well, actually the second half turned quite defensive.

After the Cowboys took a 31-30 lead on Romo's nifty pass to Marion Barber, Philadelphia got back in front on Westbrook's one-yard plunge.

And while the Cowboys got a field goal to slice the Eagles' lead to 37-34 midway through the fourth, Philadelphia looked on its way to scoring yet again.

That's when it happened. One of the best players on the field, in the game, on the planet for that matter, fumbled the ball back to the Cowboys. Westbrook never got a decent grip on a handoff from McNabb and Jay Ratliff came up from the pile, giving Dallas the ball back at its 33-yard line with 8:52 to go.

Romo, who had already thrown a pick that resulted in an Eagles touchdown and fumbled a ball that went for another score, never seemed rattled.

He calmly took over, hitting short passes to Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin and Jason Witten. Barber had a few power runs, too, including the one-yard score that gave the Cowboys the lead with 4:40 remaining.

But this was the Eagles. This was Monday Night Football. And this was Donovan McNabb. You just knew Philly would come down and at least have some legitimate cracks at the end zone.

Instead, they never made it in Cowboys' territory despite two drives. The last drive saw DeMarcus Ware come to life, recording a huge sack on McNabb on third down.

That set up a fourth-and-17 from the Eagles' 42. Philly coach Andy Reid called his final timeout to draw up the biggest play of the game. Was it going to be McNabb down the field to Jackson again? Or something over the middle, maybe to Westbrook.

Or . . . a short four-yard pass to Jackson, who pitched it back to Hank Baskett who ran for a yard before a lateral to Westbrook, who was shoved out of bounds for two yards. If you're keeping score at home, that was only seven yards. They needed 18.

Ballgame!

The Cowboys took over and needed just two kneel-downs from Romo to run out the clock, igniting Kool & The Gang's "Celebration," which is played after every home win.

This was indeed a celebration, and a deserved one at that.

What a fun game. Now what does it mean? Well, it means the Cowboys are 2-0. It means the Eagles are 1-1, and they will obviously meet again. So much more will be decided when they play up in Philly for the regular-season finale on Dec. 28.

It also means the Cowboys have won the final Monday night game here in Texas Stadium before they head over to the spaceship, I mean their new stadium in Arlington.

And with that, why not go out on top.

This one was the best. And that's a good thing considering my previous top choice of Philly's 49-21 win over the Cowboys in 2004, featuring three T.O. touchdowns and the 14-second play from McNabb, wasn't received so well by you Cowboys fans.

I wasn't going for the best Cowboys' moment in stadium history. I was going for most memorable. And when you look at the best Monday night games this team has played, most of the great ones are on the road.

Sorry, we just don't see highlights of Joe Theismann throwing five picks in 1985. We're not seeing Kelvin Martin's punt return in 1992 or even the Eagles' botched field goal snap in 1997.

But we're still seeing McNabb running away from Leo Carson. We're still seeing Owens dancing all over the Texas Stadium turf and even that pre-game intro with Nicolette Sheridan.

That's why to me, it's the most memorable.

Scratch

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