It hardly seems real that only a month ago it looked like Donovan McNabb would be spending his New Year's somewhere in the Caribbean thinking about his new team.
That all changed Sunday night when the Eagles slaughtered the Dallas Cowboys 44-6 at Lincoln Financial Field to clinch an NFC wild-card playoff spot.
Someone tell Donovan’s travel agent not to fret, while McNabb will be in Minnesota battling the Vikings, Tony Romo’s January suddenly became free for treasure hunting.
It was a crazy Sunday in the NFL. All the cards were wild for the Eagles who needed about one hundred different scenarios to go their way and one giant Christmas miracle in order to save their season, quarterback, and coach.
Looks like Santa delivered.
Heading into the final week of the season, the Eagles (9-6-1) playoff chances were in the mercy of seemingly everyone but themselves, after falling to Washington 10-3 last Sunday.
But somehow the fates aligned when the heavy underdog Oakland Raiders handed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their fourth straight loss 31-24, while da’ Bears were shot down by the Texans with the same score.
Suddenly Philadelphia’s fate was back in their hands, as the game became a winner-take-all wild card showdown.
And what a wild one it was.
The Eagles quickly got the upper hand wasting no time getting ahead of the ‘Boys (9-7).
The Birds forced three choke artist Romo fumbles, two by Pro-Bowl bound Brian Dawkins--- The Eagles handed Dallas their worst loss in the rivalry’s 38-year history.
Andy Reid and Jim Johnson looked like the hottest duo since Batman and Robin, minus the tights, seemingly making all the right calls or at least looking like it, improving to 6-0 over the last decade over Dallas in December.
There was a lot of pre-game hype of whether or not Reid and McNabb would stay in Philadelphia, but it was the Eagles defense that made the statement: we’re here to stay.
The Eagles quickly mounted a 27-3 halftime lead after McNabb found Correll Buckhalter and Brent Celek in the end zone while running for another score.
That’s when the third quarter circus came into town.
On Dallas’ first possession of the second half Dawkins was uncontested on the blitz forcing Romo fumble number 1. Chris Clemons scooped up the ball bustling 73-yards down field for the score putting the Birds up 34-3.
On their next possession Dawkins stripped Marion Barber, this time Joselio Hanson got in on the action snagging the pigskin and scampering 96-yards to the promise land.
Philadelphia now lead 41-3, that’s about the time Dallas fans started ducking out of the stadium shamefaced.
The third time was a charm for Romo who coughed up another fumble to Clemons. David Akers would then tack on the final points of the game for the Eagles.
Despite all the pressure the Eagles rose to the top.
It’s funny how things work out.
Five weeks ago Eagles owner Jeffery Laurie looked as he was going to give McNabb the boot but as Sunday’s game spiraled out of control he made his way to the sideline to deliver McNabb a big high five.
Around that same time, America’s quarterback, on America’s team that once looked Super Bowl bound, laid in the foreground face down on the freshly mowed grass ready to take a boot of his own from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
For Romo’s sake, let’s hope Jones left the spurs at home.