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Dec 14, 2014 11:00 PM

Cowboys lead Eagles 28-24 after 3 quarters

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) DeMarco Murray's 2-yard touchdown run gave the Dallas Cowboys a 28-24 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles after three quarters Sunday night in a showdown for first place in the NFC East.

Chris Polk had a pair of touchdown runs and Darren Sproles scored from the 1 to help the Eagles rally from a 21-0 deficit and briefly take a 3-point lead, but the Cowboys answered with a 78-yard drive capped by Murray's second TD run.

Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes to Dez Bryant and Cowboys had a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Eagles rallied behind Mark Sanchez.

Both teams entered at 9-4. The Eagles dominated the Cowboys in a 33-10 road win on Thanksgiving. But the winner takes control of the division with two weeks remaining.

Sanchez completed a 72-yard catch-and-run pass to Jeremy Maclin on third-and-12 to the Cowboys 1. Polk then ran it in to get the Eagles within 21-17.

Vinny Curry then sacked Romo and forced a fumble that was recovered by Fletcher Cox at the Cowboys 14. Polk ran in from the 1 to make it 24-21.

After Romo threw a 26-yard TD pass to Bryant early in the second quarter, the Cowboys had outscored the Eagles 21-0 and outgained them 167-0. Curry sacked Romo on third down two plays before the TD pass, but a holding call on Cary Williams kept the drive going.

The Eagles finally moved the ball on the ensuing possession. Sanchez was 3 for 3 to convert three third downs and Chris Polk ran in from the 5 to cut it to 21-7.

The defense then forced Dallas to punt for the first time when Connor Barwin sacked Romo on third-and-1. The Eagles quickly drove to the Cowboys 26 but the drive stalled and Cody Parkey kicked a 47-yard field goal to cut it to 21-10.

The Cowboys recovered what ended up being an onside kick to start the game. A short kickoff bounced between deep returner Josh Huff and short man Brad Smith at the 15 and was recovered by C.J. Spillman at the Eagles 18.

After Romo connected with Terrance Williams on an 8-yard pass on third-and-6, Murray ran in from the 1 to make it 7-0.

The Eagles went three-and-out on their first possession, but Donnie Jones pinned the Cowboys back to the 12 with a 68-yard punt.

Romo then led the Cowboys 88 yards on 16 plays. He completed three third-down passes to Jason Witten to extend the drive and tossed a 4-yard fade to Bryant over cornerback Bradley Fletcher to put Dallas up 14-0.

The start was the opposite of the first meeting when the Eagles steamrolled the Cowboys on their way to a convincing win. But Philadelphia followed up with a 24-14 loss at home to Seattle and is trying to avoid consecutive losses for the first time since Week 7 and 8 last year.

The Cowboys bounced back from their loss to the Eagles with a win at Chicago last Thursday night and had three extra days to prepare for the rematch.

The Eagles beat the Cowboys last year in a winner-take-division game at Dallas in Week 17. Romo missed that game after having back surgery.

Bryant couldn't wait for this game and he had a heated exchange with Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins during warmups. Jenkins walked away twice and Bryant came back to yell at him again. It wasn't clear what started the verbal confrontation.


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL


Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi


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