Sports

Romo, Cowboys continue resurgence

Tony Romo might not want to take the splint off his passing hand the way he and the Dallas Cowboys are playing.

Romo crisply guided Dallas to touchdowns on its first three drives and points on the first four, then turned the early surge into a 34-9 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday in Irving, Texas.

The Cowboys won their third straight, matching their best roll of the season, all coming since Romo returned from a broken right pinkie. Dallas is 8-4 and back near the top of the NFC playoff race. Now comes the hard part — staying there.

The Cowboys' next three games are against Pittsburgh, the New York Giants and Baltimore. That stretch will be even tougher if they're without linebacker DeMarcus Ware and running back Marion Barber. Both left with injuries in the third quarter, Ware because of a sprained left knee and Barber with a bruised right pinkie toe. Coach Wade Phillips said X-rays showed no break for Barber and that Ware seemed to be OK.

"It will be a challenge to get into the playoffs, but we feel very confident in our ability to win football games," Romo said. "I like our chances."

The Seahawks lost their fifth straight game and fell to 2-10. It matches the most losses outgoing coach Mike Holmgren has had in his 17 years in the NFL, and there are four games left.

Seattle was within a touchdown of winning its past three games, but this one was never close after former Dallas running back Julius Jones fumbled on the Seahawks' first possession. The Cowboys wound up driving for a touchdown that made it 14-0 on the way to 24-3 midway through the second quarter.

Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck was 22-for-38 for a season-high 287 yards. He threw one interception and was sacked seven times, the most by Dallas since having nine on Nov. 9, 1997. Ware had three, giving him an NFL-best 15 this season.

With the defense playing like that and the offense scoring in the 30s in consecutive weeks, the Cowboys clearly are playing they way they need to down the stretch. They may be getting another boost with suspended cornerback-punt returner Adam "Pacman" Jones eligible to play again starting against the Steelers. Jones watched this game from the Dallas sideline.

Whatever giddiness Cowboys fans might be feeling must be tempered by the caliber of their past two foes, and the caliber of the next three. Another stumbling block is their woeful recent history in Decembers. Dallas hasn't had a winning record that month since 2001.

"I think everyone knows the importance of these last games down the stretch," receiver Terrell Owens said. "There's really not a whole lot to be said, just go out and play."

It's no coincidence the Cowboys have turned their season around since Romo's return. His broken bone actually isn't healed completely, so he's been playing with a splint protecting it. With 10 days off before the next game, Romo might be back to normal by then.

"I'd be very surprised if I wore the splint against Pittsburgh, but you never know what's going to happen in the next week," Romo said.

■ Romo is 3-0 on Thanksgiving, with great numbers: 65-of-91 (71.4 percent) for 832 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. ... The Seahawks aren't big on Thanksgiving in Dallas. They're 0-2, losing by a cumulative score of 85-16.

McNabb, Westbrook score 4 TDs vs. Cards

Donovan McNabb got pulled for Kevin Kolb again. This time, he earned a seat on the bench with a superb performance instead of a stinker.

McNabb threw four touchdown passes, Brian Westbrook tied a team-record with four scores and the Eagles beat Arizona 48-20 in Philadelphia.

Just four days ago, McNabb was benched for the first time in his career at halftime of a 36-7 loss at Baltimore. The Eagles only trailed 10-7 when Coach Andy Reid decided to put Kolb in after McNabb threw five interceptions and lost two fumbles in his previous seven quarters.

But Reid gave McNabb another chance and the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback responded with his best game since Week 1.

He completed 27 of 39 passes for 260 yards and a passer rating of 121.7.

Westbrook, playing with a sore ankle and knee, had 110 yards rushing and 20 receiving. He had two TDs on the ground and two receiving. Irving Fryar, in 1996, was the last Eagles player to score four TDs.

The Eagles (6-5-1) desperately needed to win to maintain their slim playoff hopes. They'll have a few extra days to prepare for the New York Giants (10-1) on Dec. 7.

The Cardinals (7-5) will clinch their first division title in 33 years if San Francisco loses at Buffalo on Sunday.

Kurt Warner had 235 yards passing, three TDs and three interceptions.

Right from the start, McNabb looked like the guy who led the Eagles to four straight NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. He was 5-for-5 for 38 yards on the opening drive, capping it with a 5-yard TD pass to Westbrook.

Hanson ties kicking record

Detroit's Jason Hanson kicked a 53-yard field goal against Tennessee and tied Morten Andersen's NFL record for the most kicks from 50-plus yards. Hanson made his 40th field goal from 50-plus yards Thursday on the 74th attempt of his career.

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