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Eagles edge Cowboys for NFC East crown
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - LeSean McCoy had already wrapped up the NFL's rushing title heading into Sunday night's do-or-die showdown in Dallas.
The last 11 yards of his regular-season total were the most important. They helped the Philadelphia Eagles complete a worst-to-first turnaround under new head coach Chip Kelly
And nobody in Big D can blame Tony Romo this time.
Brandon Boykin intercepted Kyle Orton with 1:43 left and the Eagles ran out the remaining time to seal a 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys, securing the NFC East title and a trip to the playoffs.
"It's an awesome feeling when you can work as hard as they've worked and to see the results pay off," Kelly said.
Filling in for the injured Romo, who had surgery Friday to repair a herniated disk in his back, Orton threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant on 4th-and-9 to bring the Cowboys within 24-22 with 3:50 on the clock.
Eagles cornerback Cary Williams, though, broke up the two-point try on a pass intended for Bryant in the front left corner of the end zone.
Dallas got the ball back with 1:49 left following an Eagles three-and-out, but Boykin picked off Orton on the first play. Orton's pass was a little behind Miles Austin on a left seam route and Boykin stepped in front.
"I just missed it," Orton said.
The Cowboys called their final timeout with 1:36 left after McCoy dashed up the middle for six yards. He then darted through the right side of the line for the game-clinching first-down run.
McCoy set the team's single-season rushing record with 1,607 yards, picking his way for 131 on 27 carries. McCoy also broke the franchise yards from scrimmage mark with 2,146, surpassing Brian Westbrook's 2007 total of 2,104.
"If we didn't win today," he said, "none of that means nothing."
Philadelphia (10-6) got the No. 3 seed and will host sixth-seeded New Orleans in the wild card round Saturday night at 8:10 ET.
McCoy added a 3-yard touchdown reception in the triumph.
Shaking off his worst performance of the season, an 11-of-29 effort for 80 yards in a loss to Dallas on Oct. 20, Nick Foles tossed a pair of touchdown passes and completed 17-of-26 passes for 263 yards. He finished the season with 27 TD throws and just two interceptions.
Orton was 30-of-46 for 358 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of picks for the Cowboys (8-8), who dropped their third straight win-or-go-home Week 17 game. They lost to the New York Giants in 2011 and Washington Redskins last year with the NFC East on the line. Dallas also dropped a do-or-die Week 17 game against the Eagles in 2008.
Jason Witten caught 12 passes for 135 yards, while Bryant hauled in eight receptions for 99 yards and his score. DeMarco Murray carried the ball 17 times for 51 yards in defeat.
Dallas is 2-12 in Week 17 since 2000.
The Eagles totaled 238 yards in the first half and raced out to a 17-10 lead heading into the locker room, but struggled to find traction in the third quarter.
They went three-and-out on their opening touch before Dallas moved the ball 41 yards and settled for a 43-yard Dan Bailey field goal.
Jason Hatcher strip-sacked Foles on the fourth play of the ensuing drive and DeMarcus Ware recovered the ball at the Philadelphia 20. Dallas, though, again settled for a field goal, a 36-yarder from Bailey to whittle the deficit to 17-16.
Both teams were unable to convert 4th-and-shorts on back-to-back wild sequences during the late stages of the third and early proceedings of the fourth.
The Eagles faced a 4th-and-goal at the 1, but the Cowboys stuffed Foles' attempted sneak.
Dallas then needed just four plays to cross midfield as Bryant hauled in an 18-yard reception, Orton hit Witten over the middle for 16 yards and then Austin two plays later for another 16-yard gain to put the ball at the 49.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the 40, but Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin knocked away the pass from Orton, who rolled to his right on the play.
Bryce Brown then capped an 11-play, 60-yard march with a 6-yard TD run off left end to extend the Eagles margin to 24-16 with 6:09 left.
Earlier, Philadelphia linebacker Mychal Kendricks forced a Murray fumble on Dallas' opening drive and cornerback Bradley Fletcher recovered the ball at the Philadelphia 23.
Alex Henery kicked a 47-yard field goal for the game's first points.
Foles flipped a 3-yard TD pass to McCoy in the right flat to end a 10-play, 88-yard sequence to make it 10-0 early in the second.
Gavin Escobar took an Orton pass in the right flat and flipped into the end zone for a 17-yard score to get Dallas on the board midway through the frame, but the Eagles answered two possessions later on a 14-yard Brent Celek TD reception with 1:19 to go in the half.
Bailey nailed a 44-yard field goal with 18 ticks remaining to claw Dallas within seven at the break.
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who had three catches for 28 yards, finished the season with 1,332 yards receiving, good for second on the team's all-time single-season list behind Mike Quick (1,409 in 1983) ... Philadelphia was 5-of-13 on third down, while the Cowboys finished 3-of-11.
12/30 01:27:47 ET