IRVING, Texas -- Donovan McNabb spun away from one would-be tackler and sprinted to his right, only to find another defender waiting. So he went back to his left, chased by two more players, and finally heaved the ball, letting loose a 60-yard pass that looked more like a punt.
Freddie Mitchell ran under it for an easy catch, of course. The way the Philadelphia Eagles were rolling against the Dallas Cowboys last night, it seemed they could do no wrong.
McNabb led Philadelphia to six touchdowns, throwing three to Terrell Owens, and topped them all with his amazing improvisation, then Lito Sheppard added a 101-yard interception return for one final score, helping the Eagles resoundingly bounce back from their first loss of the season with a 49-21 victory over the reeling Cowboys.
The Eagles (8-1) quickly made it known that they still should be considered the midseason favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl by scoring 35 points in the first half -- more than they'd scored in any game this season -- and wound up with their most points since beating St. Louis, 52-10, in November 1981.
"It takes a couple plays for us to get a little momentum," McNabb said. "Once things get going, we feel confident that every play that we call is going to be effective and possibly get in the end zone."
McNabb was 15 of 28 for 345 yards, with four TD passes and no interceptions. Owens caught six passes for 134 yards.
Philadelphia scored touchdowns the last five times it had the ball before halftime. There was the minor interruption of a punt, but the Cowboys (3-6) fumbled the return, adding to the humiliation of their fifth loss in six games -- and their eighth in nine tries against the Eagles. Their last three losses have been by 21, 23 and, now, 28 points.
This one was historically ugly as Dallas gave up its most points ever at home and its most anywhere since a 50-24 loss at Cincinnati in December 1985. The Cowboys allowed four touchdowns in one quarter for the first time in franchise history and the 35 points Philadelphia scored in the first half tied another record.
After calling his team "stupid" following a 26-3 loss to Cincinnati last week, Dallas coach Bill Parcells tried holding his tongue.
"We just got to get better," he said. "I'm not going to get into the state of the union right now. I'm just not going to do it."
The Eagles loved every minute of this blowout, especially Owens.
He pretended to skate in the end zone after his first score, a 59-yarder, then playfully argued with McNabb on the sideline, mocking their confrontation from last week. After a 27-yard touchdown catch, he mocked his own celebration from four years ago at Texas Stadium, only this time he stood on a small star logo painted on a helmet in the end zone instead of the big one at midfield. Vinny Testaverde, playing two days after turning 41, was decent enough to keep future leader Drew Henson on the sideline. He was 21 of 30 for 254 yards with two touchdowns to Jason Witten. Eddie George added a 15-yard touchdown run.