Journal Register News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- Remember when Donovan McNabb insulted the Dallas Cowboys simply by stating the NFC East title goes through Philadelphia?

Well, the shoe's on the other foot Monday at Texas Stadium.

McNabb's words were still fresh last year when the Cowboys and Terrell Owens humiliated the Eagles, 38-17, at Lincoln Financial Field.

McNabb since hasn't said anything fiery about Big D, and he won't be judging by his segue into Cowboys Week shortly after the Birds season-opening demolition of the St. Louis Yams.

"We're looking forward to it but we won't look at it as a test to see where we're at," McNabb said. "At this particular time of the season it's important that you try to master the fundamentals, to make sure the chemistry is where it's supposed to be."

He really said that.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys are on McNabb's mind. He's been watching "Hard Knocks," the HBO piece chronicling Cowboys training camp.

"Who hasn't?" McNabb said. "They're a confident bunch and they're an experienced bunch. There's a reason they won 13 games last year. We know that it's going to be a battle. Every time we play it kind of goes to the wire somehow. So we have to prepare ourselves to go out and give a good fight."

The analysis was shaky, to say the least. The last game was close, the Eagles winning 10-6 at Texas Stadium in 2007. But it would have been 17-6 had Brian Westbrook not flopped on the ground near the goal line to run out the clock instead of walking into the end zone late in the game.

Also only one of the previous five games has been close meaning these teams typically take turns shelling each other.

The Eagles are just 6-4 in their last 10 games against the Cowboys. The teams have split the last six games.

The Cowboys last week were every bit as dominant as the Eagles, laying a 28-10 whipping on the Cleveland Browns.

It should have been worse as Tony Romo was intercepted in the end zone and the Cowboys ran the clock out on Cleveland's doorstep. The Browns, by the way, would beat the Rams at least nine times out of 10 games.

The Cowboys pounded on the Browns with one of the biggest offensive lines ever seen, and the Eagles will get the same thing. The ground game put 167 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the Browns, Marion Barber getting 80 yards, two TD's and some sore ribs. Rookie first-round pick Felix Jones added nine rushes for 62 yards.

Like McNabb, who threw for 361 yards and three TD's in the 38-3 win over the Rams, Cowboys counterpart Tony Romo had a big day. Romo completed 24 of 32 attempts for 320 yards, one touchdown and one interception, the latter on a throw into the end zone.

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