Skid stopped, Cowboys looking for long playoff run

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys have shredded to pieces their embarrassingly long wait between playoff wins. Now the question is how long this playoff run might last.

A 34-14 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday night guarantees Dallas will play at least once more, in Minnesota on Sunday. Yet the way the Cowboys dominated the Eagles, and the way they've won their last four games, suggest they are the team to beat in the NFC.

Dallas hasn't trailed during its four-game surge and hasn't been tied other than 0-0. The Cowboys are doing it with the basic formula for playoff success: a solid quarterback and a stingy defense.

Tony Romo is putting up points early and often without making the careless mistakes that fueled those now-erased hexes. He has six touchdowns and two interceptions over the last four outings, putting up 24.8 points per game.

He guided Dallas to a franchise playoff-record 27 points in the second quarter Saturday night. That sent the Cowboys on their way to their NFL-record 33rd playoff win. But it was their first Dec. 28, 1996.

Meanwhile, DeMarcus Ware and the defense are keeping offenses frustrated.

Dallas has given up only 31 points the last 16 quarters, just four touchdowns in four games. And three of those games were against New Orleans and Philadelphia, the teams that scored the most and fifth-most points in the NFL this season. The Eagles had just 18 snaps in the decisive first half Saturday night, and they finished 2 of 11 on third downs.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-01-10-10 1451EST


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