American Football: McNabb's mauling for Owen thrills Eagles fans

As grudge matches go, much was expected when the Philadelphia Eagles entertained the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, as there was sufficient bad blood between the two protagonists to make the build-up sound like one of Don King's more extravagantly hyped boxing promotions.

In the blue corner for the Cowboys, the gifted but garrulous receiver Terrell Owens, who had worn the green of Philadelphia last season, only to be suspended and ultimately sacked for his histrionic behaviour and relentless personal denigration of the Eagles' quarterback, Donovan McNabb.

For his part, McNabb had tried to play down the confrontation, insisting the game was about two teams, not two individuals. However, the personal animosity between the players made this compelling viewing.

However, it was a one-sided battle, with, the Philadelphia man having his hand raised in victory at the final bell. The Eagles won 38-24, McNabb enjoyed his most productive day of the season, and Owens finished with a mere three catches for 45 yards, a scowling presence on the sidelines for much of a second half of Philadelphia domination.

Owens, booed relentlessly by an Eagles crowd who blame him for destroying their team's morale from within last year, also dropped two passes, and for once, seemed prepared to accept some of the blame for his side's shortcomings.

"Opportunities were there, but we didn't take them - it is frustrating," he said of his return to Philadelphia. "I'm a competitor and I don't like to lose. Maybe I need to work harder. I need to do whatever it takes to help these guys win ball games."

Owens was certainly not at fault for his side's inability to contain McNabb, who threw for a season-high 354 yards, including long touchdown passes to Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett.

Nor was he to blame for the Cowboys quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, throwing three interceptions and suffering seven sacks as the Eagles defence threatened to run riot. Fittingly, the last play of the game saw Bledsoe's third interception returned 102 yards by Lito Shepherd for the game's final score. On that play, and indeed for most of the contest, Owens was simply an innocent bystander.

Elsewhere, another much-hyped player, Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints, scored his first NFL touchdown on a 65-yard punt return to help his side defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-21. Bush is no Owens, however. Modest and respectful, the rookie is quietly going about the business of learning his trade, but his versatility and productivity have helped the Saints enjoy one of the best starts to a campaign in the franchise's 40-year history.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect