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Romo sets TD mark as Cowboys beat Eagles, 38-33

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Romo sets TD mark as Cowboys beat Eagles, 38-33

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Tony Romo will look back someday and see he had more touchdown passes than Troy Aikman. Right now he just wants to win games and get back to the playoffs, where his predecessor in Dallas made his mark by winning three Super Bowls.

Romo threw three second-half touchdown passes to answer a strong game by Philadelphia's rookie duo of Bryce Brown and Nick Foles, and the Cowboys sent the Eagles to their eighth straight loss with a 38-33 victory Sunday night.

Romo broke Aikman's franchise record with his 166th touchdown on a third-quarter pass to Dez Bryant that tied the game. The Cowboys (6-6) needed more to keep their postseason hopes alive, and Romo came through in the fourth quarter with another tying toss and a go-ahead score.

``That kind of gets put aside, obviously, when you're playing and right in the middle of where we are at with the playoff picture,'' Romo said. ``Saying all of that, it's a neat thing when you look at the other guys. Troy, obviously, being a guy if you're in any discussion with him in anything, you're doing something right.''

The record-breaker was vintage Romo. He scrambled to his right and threw back across the field to Bryant, who weaved through the Philadelphia defense to tie the score at 17.

Romo tied it again at 24 on a throw to Miles Austin, and had one more answer after Brown and Foles led the Eagles to a go-ahead field goal. He threw deep to Bryant for 35 yards on third down, and Bryant found his way into the end zone again by taking a screen pass 6 yards just inside the pylon for a 31-27 lead with 5:40 remaining in the game.

Romo was 10 of 10 in the second half, completing his last 12 passes to finish 22 of 27 for 303 yards with no interceptions and a 150.5 passer rating. Bryant had six catches for 98 yards.

``To me, I can still picture him when he would walk out there when he first got on the Cowboys,'' owner Jerry Jones said. ``Defensive coaches would just pull their hair out with frustration because they couldn't stop him on the field. They would say, `Well, he has to play right. He can't throw across the defense. He can't be shoving that ball in the middle of these defensive players. That won't win in the NFL.'''

The Eagles' slide continued despite 169 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Brown a week after he set a team rookie record with 178 yards on the ground.

After Romo's go-ahead touchdown pass, Dallas went up by 11 when Morris Claiborne returned Brown's fumble 50 yards for a touchdown.

``The offense was compensating for us all night long,'' Claiborne said. ``Whenever we gave up a touchdown, they came back with a touchdown to keep us in the game.''

Brown's fumble snapped a streak of eight straight scoring drives by both teams. It was the second straight week that he mixed big runs with critical fumbles after losing the ball twice in last week's loss to Carolina.

``Up until that fumble, he had done a heck of a job,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said. ``He was trying to get every stinking yard he possibly could.''

Philadelphia (3-9) had a chance for an improbable rally when Damaris Johnson returned a punt 98 yards with 31 seconds left. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Cowboys recovered the onside kick, ran out the clock and improved to 126-126 since the start of the 1997 season.

Foles, who was 22 of 34 in his third start in place of Michael Vick, led the Eagles to a 27-24 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Alex Henery, who now has the longest current field goal streak at 21 after Cleveland's Phil Dawson had a kick blocked Sunday.

``It was a tough loss,'' Foles said. ``I'm proud of our team with the way they fought. We have to keep working and stick together.''

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray, who started after missing six games with a sprained right foot, finished with 83 yards and a touchdown.

The Cowboys welcomed Murray back by running him three straight times to start the game after calling 52 straight pass plays from the second quarter to the end of a Thanksgiving loss to Washington. He finished with 23 carries.

``I knew once I got out there I wasn't going to want to come out,'' Murray said. ``I wasn't expecting to get that much work.''

Brown, who started his first game since high school when he filled in for LeSean McCoy last week, went in untouched on both of his scoring plays in the first half. He scooted around the left side for a 7-0 lead and trotted through a big hole up the middle to make it 14-3 midway through the second quarter.

Vick and McCoy are sidelined by concussions.

Philadelphia was in front after the first quarter for the first time all season, but Dan Bailey got the Cowboys on the board with a 39-yard field goal early in the second. Murray's 1-yard touchdown run trimmed the Eagles' lead to 14-10 with 41 seconds left in the half.

The Eagles answered by driving 52 yards in 35 seconds to a 43-yard field goal by Henery on the last play of the half. Foles completed a 29-yard pass to Jason Avant to get the Eagles in scoring range.

Brown got Philadelphia's first scoring drive going with a 42-yard run up the middle and finished it with a 10-yard run.

Trailing 7-3 early the second quarter, the Cowboys went three and out after a third-down completion from Romo to Jason Witten was overturned on a challenge by Reid. Replays showed the ball hitting the turf as Witten grabbed it.

Two plays later, Brown went 39 yards down the sideline and later scored from 5 yards out.

NOTES: The Cowboys snapped an eight-game losing streak on Sunday night. ... Foles' first two career TD passes were against Dallas, and both were to Riley Cooper. ... Heisman Trophy contender Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M watched the game from a suite. His next game will be at Cowboys Stadium, against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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