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10/20/2013 7:13 PM EDT
Banged-up Cowboys beat up Eagles 17-3
DALLAS 17, PHILADELPHIA 3

By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- In an unexpected defensive tussle, the
depleted Dallas Cowboys delivered the knockout punch.

Tony Romo threw for 317 yards and one touchdown, a banged-up
defense shut down Chip Kelly's prolific offense and the Cowboys
overcame a sluggish start to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 17-3
on Sunday to take sole possession of first place in the NFC
East.

At least there won't be a quarterback controversy in
Philadelphia after this one. Nick Foles was awful leaving with a
head injury.

"Obviously, our defense was outstanding," Cowboys coach Jason
Garrett said. "That offense challenges you in so many ways. They
have a really good scheme. Our defense played sound, played
together. They were physical and our tackling was outstanding."

Two teams that averaged a combined 58.2 points per game and
allowed a combined 55.2 totaled 13 punts in a first half that
ended with Dallas (4-3) leading 3-0. It was more two inept
offenses than two dominant defenses.

A Cowboys defensive line missing three of its projected starters
pressured and harassed Foles until putting him out on the final
play of the third quarter. With Michael Vick inactive because of
a hamstring injury, Matt Barkley made his NFL debut and threw
three interceptions in the fourth quarter.

"I was maybe a little too aggressive on some of those throws,
trying to advance the ball down the field and help our team
win," Barkley said. "I learned a lot today. I'll learn even more
watching the tape."

The Eagles (3-4) have lost a franchise-worst nine straight games
at home. Their last win at the Linc was over the New York Giants
on Sept. 30, 2012.

Dallas played without four-time All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus
Ware, who missed the first game in his nine-year career because
of a quadriceps injury. Anthony Spencer, the end opposite Ware,
is out for the season after knee surgery. Four-time Pro Bowl
tackle Jay Ratliff was released during the week after failing a
physical.

George Selvie had 1 1/2 sacks and combined with Jarius Wynn on
the hit that forced Foles out of the game. Wynn was signed last
Tuesday after being released by San Diego.

"It's a testament to how hard and committed these guys are to
practicing," Romo said. "It's neat for them to have a game like
this. They would've won it by themselves."

Foles, coming off an impressive performance at Tampa Bay last
week that earned him NFC Player of the Week honors, had his
worst game since his first career start at Washington last
November.

He finished 11 of 29 for 80 yards and was sacked three times.
Foles misfired on several throws to open receivers, including a
low throw to Jason Avant in the end zone in the third quarter.

"All of us on offense, our decision making wasn't very good,"
Kelly said. "It was all of us on offense. It's not just one
guy."

Kelly is hopeful Vick will return this week. There was no word
on the extent of Foles' injury.

The Eagles sorely missed Vick's scrambling ability. Also, Vick's
presence makes LeSean McCoy more dangerous because teams have to
be wary of both in Kelly's read-zone offense.

McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, was held to 55 yards on 18
carries.

"We knew it was going to be an extreme challenge coming in, and
I felt we answered the bell," said linebacker Sean Lee, who had
one of the picks on Barkley.

Cowboys rookie Joseph Randle had 65 yards rushing filling in for
injured running back DeMarco Murray. Phillip Tanner scored on a
1-yard run.

Romo was 28 of 47 and threw two picks.

The first 11 possessions resulted in 11 punts before Dan Bailey
kicked a 38-yard field goal to give Dallas a 3-0 lead with 3:17
left in the first half.

Alex Henery missed wide left on a 60-yard attempt with 9 seconds
left in the second quarter.

DeMeco Ryans intercepted a poor pass by Romo and returned it 36
yards to the Cowboys 30 to set up Henery's 31-yard field goal
that cut it to 10-3.

But the Cowboys answered with Romo tossing a 9-yard TD pass to
Terrance Williams to make it 17-3.

At Oregon, Kelly's teams scored 150 points in three meetings
against Monte Kiffin when he was defensive coordinator for USC.
Kiffin now holds that position with the Cowboys, so the
defensive mastermind wins their first matchup in the pros.

NOTES: The Cowboys got their first road win and are 3-0 in the
division for first time since 2007. ... The Eagles were the
fourth team in NFL history to have 400 yards of offense in each
of first six games. They were held to 278.

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Online: AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org/

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

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