Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - We have all seen this movie before.
An epic December collapse was unfolding in Philadelphia for the Dallas Cowboys when a funny thing happened, Tony Romo righted the ship and led his team to a startling 38-27 win over the Eagles.
The NFC East slugfest has all the markings of a laugher early when Dallas jumped out to a 21-0 advantage but Philadelphia never wavered and answered with 24 consecutive points, capped by a Darren Sproles 1-yard touchdown run with just under six minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Sproles' sweep capped a diminutive 14-yard drive after an egregious Romo fumble, made even worse by the fact left guard Ronald Leary had plenty of time to cover it up but was unaware the football was on the turf.
It was the typical boneheaded Cowboys play that would surely cost them a playoff berth ... except it didn't.
Romo and Co. immediately answered with a monster eight-play, 78-yard drive capped by a 2-yard DeMarco Murray TD plunge and the Cowboys never trailed again, scoring 17 of the game's final 20 points to seize sole possession of the NFC East lead with just two games left in the regular season.
"I thought (Romo) was big all night long," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "I thought our whole team did a really good job responding to that (Sproles TD). Tony did an excellent job on that drive. He was under duress a couple of times, made some big third-down throws, and really just played very well. Tremendous amount of poise. Tremendous amount of composure. Tremendous amount of mental toughness."
"Obviously, you can't put yourself behind 21-0 against a good football team and then expect that you can come back and win the game," a disappointed Eagles coach Chip Kelly countered. "We put ourselves in too big of a hole to start with and then got back up. Give us credit for getting back into it."
Credit can't distort reality, though, and the loss drops the Eagles to 9-5 with two division games left against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. Dallas improves to 10-4 and takes control of the NFC East, with Indianapolis at home next week, and finishing on the road against Washington.
Philadelphia's easiest path to the postseason now is to win out and hope the Cowboys stumble once over the final two weeks.
"The only thing that matters is just our next game," Kelly said. "We can't think anything long term. We don't worry about who does what and who does anything. If we don't go out and beat Washington, then it's kind of a moot point, anyway."
The outcome was a stark contrast from the Thanksgiving Day meeting between the two clubs just over two weeks ago in North Texas -- a lopsided 33-10 Eagles victory that ended with Dez Bryant champing at the bit for the rematch.
"I knew that my teammates were rearing to go," Bryant said. "We had to keep each other calm because a lot of us were anxious for this one. We stayed calm, we stayed focused, and we came out and executed the way that we wanted to."
The star receiver delivered, punishing Eagles' cornerback Bradley Fletcher and catching all three of Romo's touchdown passes on the night. Bryant finished with 114 yards on six catches and a permanent starring role in Fletcher's nightmares.
"I don't even think about any of that. I just think about our offense," Bryant said. "That's all that we think about. We don't think about what going on in the opponent's head. We just try to play football the best possible way we can."
Murray, meanwhile, carried the ball 31 times for 81 yards and two scores as he surpassed the 400-touch mark on the season, while Romo completed 22-of-31 passes for 265 yards.
"It was important to win," Romo said. "Obviously, it's the most important thing. It feels good right now. In about 24 hours we're going to have to let it go and get on to the next biggest game of the year and just continue to hopefully do that."
The Eagles, meanwhile, have dropped consecutive games for the first time all season after losing to the Seahawks at home last week. They turned it over four times against the 'Boys and only held the ball for only 18 minutes.
"It's the same thing we talk about every week," Kelly lamented. "It sounds like a broken record but we can't turn the football over and expect to win football games."