Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cowboys Stand Tall 24-13 Victory over Eagles Stifles Nfc East Challenge

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cowboys Stand Tall 24-13 Victory over Eagles Stifles Nfc East Challenge

Article excerpt

It's the same old story in the National Football Conference East. The Dallas Cowboys are still the neighborhood bully.

The National Football League's top-ranked defense intercepted Randall Cunningham four times, and Troy Aikman threw two touchdown passes as Dallas beat Philadelphia 24-13 in a showdown for the division lead.

"This is a big step for us, a big game," Aikman said. "We're playing as well right now as we were at this point last year."

Emmitt Smith rushed for 106 yards and scored a touchdown, helping Dallas to its 10th consecutive victory over an NFC East foe.

Dallas, which has defeated the Eagles five consecutive times, is 5-1 and the Eagles dropped to 4-2.

"We're the better team and we proved it today," Dallas coach Barry Switzer said. "I was impressed with the way Troy kept his composure when things were going bad early. He fought off all the negatives and kept his poise. If this guy goes nuts then it's all over for us."

Smith did what he usually does against Philadelphia, gain more than 100 yards. In his last four games against the Eagles, he had gained 163, 114, 237, and 172 yards, respectively. His 106 yards in 26 carries Sunday marked the 28th time he had rushed for 100 yards in his career of five years.

Cunningham hurt the Eagles with three consecutive interceptions, that led to two touchdowns, after a rapid-fire start in which Dallas trailed 7-0.

"The Eagles won the first quarter but we won the second, third and most of the fourth quarter," Switzer said.

Dallas jumped ahead 21-7 early in the third period after Darren Woodson intercepted Cunningham at the Philadelphia 31. Aikman made the Eagles pay with a 14-yard scoring strike to tight end Jay Novacek. Then Chris Boniol put the game out of reach with a 37-yard field goal in the fourth period for a 24-7 edge.

The Eagles tried to come back. James Joseph scored on a 34-yard touchdown run and Mark Woodward recovered an onsides kick. Cunningham then took Philadelphia the length of the field before Larry Brown intercepted a pass in the end zone. …

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