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McNabb, Eagles continue climb in NFC

PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb backed up a bold statement with another stellar performance.

McNabb threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Eagles clinch a playoff spot with their eighth straight victory, 36-10 over the Dallas Cowboys yesterday.

The Eagles (10-3), who have the best record in the NFC, can clinch their third straight division title with two more victories or one win and another loss by the Cowboys. Philadelphia hasn't lost since a 23-21 defeat in Dallas Oct. 12.

The Cowboys (8-5) are 3-4 after a 5-1 start under Bill Parcells.

All along, McNabb has insisted the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East. Maybe they're the team to beat in the whole conference.

"We stayed confident, we stayed together and that's important," McNabb said.

Correll Buckhalter ran for 115 yards, including a 64-yard TD run in the fourth quarter that capped the scoring.

McNabb threw TD passes of 16 yards to Brian Westbrook, 5 yards to Duce Staley and 6 yards to L.J. Smith. He completed 19 of 35 passes and didn't throw an interception for the fifth time in the last six games.

The worst-rated passer in the NFL through six games, McNabb has returned to his Pro Bowl form. He has thrown for 1,513 yards, nine TDs, and only 1 interception in the last six games. The Cowboys stayed close early and were tied at 10 at halftime, but Quincy Carter threw a costly interception on the third play of the third quarter and the Eagles turned it into a touchdown.

Parcells clearly was upset with his team's effort. "I'm concerned about a lot of things right now," he said. "It's pretty hard to have a full-blown crisis in your first year with a program. I don't know what I'm expecting. I expected more maybe."

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