ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Tony Romo will look back someday and see he had more touchdown passes than Troy Aikman. Right now he just wants to win games and get back to the playoffs, where his predecessor in Dallas made his mark by winning three Super Bowls.
Romo threw three second-half touchdown passes to answer a strong game by Philadelphia’s rookie duo of Bryce Brown and Nick Foles, and the Cowboys sent the Eagles to their eighth straight loss with a 38-33 victory Sunday night.
Romo broke Aikman’s franchise record with his 166th touchdown on a third- quarter pass to Dez Bryant that tied the game. The Cowboys (6-6) needed more to keep their postseason hopes alive, and Romo came through in the fourth quarter with another tying toss and a go-ahead score.
“That kind of gets put aside, obviously, when you’re playing and right in the middle of where we are at with the playoff picture,” Romo said. “Saying all of that, it’s a neat thing when you look at the other guys. Troy, obviously, being a guy if you’re in any discussion with him in anything, you’re doing something right.”
The record-breaker was vintage Romo. He scrambled to his right and threw back across the field to Bryant, who weaved through the Philadelphia defense to tie the score at 17.
Romo tied it again at 24 on a throw to Miles Austin, and had one more answer after Brown and Foles led the Eagles to a go-ahead field goal. He threw deep to Bryant for 35 yards on third down, and Bryant found his way into the end zone again by taking a screen pass 6 yards just inside the pylon for a 31-27 lead with 5:40 remaining in the game.
Romo was 10 of 10 in the second half, completing his last 12 passes to finish 22 of 27 for 303 yards with no interceptions and a 150.5 passer rating. Bryant had six catches for 98 yards.
“To me, I can still picture him when he would walk out there when he first got on the Cowboys,” owner Jerry Jones said. “Defensive coaches would just pull their hair out with frustration because they couldn’t stop him on the field. They would say, `Well, he has to play right. He can’t throw across the defense. He can’t be shoving that ball in the middle of these defensive players. That won’t win in the NFL.”‘
The Eagles’ slide continued despite 169 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Brown a week after he set a team rookie record with 178 yards on the ground.
After Romo’s go-ahead touchdown pass, Dallas went up by 11 when Morris Claiborne returned Brown’s fumble 50 yards for a touchdown.
“The offense was compensating for us all night long,” Claiborne said. “Whenever we gave up a touchdown, they came back with a touchdown to keep us in the game.”
Brown’s fumble snapped a streak of eight straight scoring drives by both teams. It was the second straight week that he mixed big runs with critical fumbles after losing the ball twice in last week’s loss to Carolina.
“Up until that fumble, he had done a heck of a job,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “He was trying to get every stinking yard he possibly could.”
Philadelphia (3-9) had a chance for an improbable rally when Damaris Johnson returned a punt 98 yards with 31 seconds left. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Cowboys recovered the onside kick, ran out the clock and improved to 126-126 since the start of the 1997 season.
Foles, who was 22 of 34 in his third start in place of Michael Vick, led the Eagles to a 27-24 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Alex Henery, who now has the longest current field goal streak at 21 after Cleveland’s Phil Dawson had a kick blocked Sunday.
“It was a tough loss,” Foles said. “I’m proud of our team with the way they fought. We have to keep working and stick together.”
Dallas running back DeMarco Murray, who started after missing six games with a sprained right foot, finished with 83 yards and a touchdown.
The Cowboys welcomed Murray back by running him three straight times to start the game after calling 52 straight pass plays from the second quarter to the end of a Thanksgiving loss to Washington. He finished with 23 carries.
“I knew once I got out there I wasn’t going to want to come out,” Murray said. “I wasn’t expecting to get that much work.”
Brown, who started his first game since high school when he filled in for LeSean McCoy last week, went in untouched on both of his scoring plays in the first half. He scooted around the left side for a 7-0 lead and trotted through a big hole up the middle to make it 14-3 midway through the second quarter.
Vick and McCoy are sidelined by concussions.
Philadelphia was in front after the first quarter for the first time all season, but Dan Bailey got the Cowboys on the board with a 39-yard field goal early in the second. Murray’s 1-yard touchdown run trimmed the Eagles’ lead to 14- 10 with 41 seconds left in the half.
The Eagles answered by driving 52 yards in 35 seconds to a 43-yard field goal by Henery on the last play of the half. Foles completed a 29-yard pass to Jason Avant to get the Eagles in scoring range.
Brown got Philadelphia’s first scoring drive going with a 42-yard run up the middle and finished it with a 10-yard run.
Trailing 7-3 early the second quarter, the Cowboys went three and out after a third-down completion from Romo to Jason Witten was overturned on a challenge by Reid. Replays showed the ball hitting the turf as Witten grabbed it.
Two plays later, Brown went 39 yards down the sideline and later scored from 5 yards out.
NOTES: The Cowboys snapped an eight-game losing streak on Sunday night. … Foles’ first two career TD passes were against Dallas, and both were to Riley Cooper. … Heisman Trophy contender Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M watched the game from a suite. His next game will be at Cowboys Stadium, against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.
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