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Favre throws four TD passes as Vikings beat Cowboys, 34-3

MINNEAPOLIS - This is what Brett Favre came back for. The adrenaline rush. The in-your-face touchdown. Another shot at the Super Bowl.

Favre wanted all of it, and now he's got it.

Four - count 'em, four - touchdown passes from Minnesota's 40-year-old quarterback sent the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game with a 34-3 rout of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday.

"Probably the most fatigued I got today was celebrating," Favre said with a smile.

The Vikings will take on the Saints on Sunday in New Orleans, with the winner going to the Super Bowl in Miami.

Favre found Sidney Rice for 47-, 16- and 45-yard touchdowns and put an exclamation point on his performance when his fourth-and-3 pass from the 11 was caught in the end zone by Visanthe Shiancoe after the two-minute warning.

Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking balked at the late touchdown, confronting Vikings coach Brad Childress on the sideline. "I think it was totally classless and disrespectful," Brooking said.

Childress and Favre both chalked it up to staying aggressive to the end. "That wasn't rubbing it in. It's just taking care of business," the coach said.

Never in 22 previous playoff games had Favre thrown for four touchdowns, and never before had he beaten Dallas in the postseason. Losses to the Cowboys ended his first three playoff experiences with Green Bay.

Favre finished 15-for-24 for 234 yards without a turnover, slapping fives with anyone in reach and rapidly pumping his right arm after each score.

"I feel like I'm playing the same way. I have the same enthusiasm," Favre said. "As long as I'm out there, the enthusiasm and the passion that you see is real. And I know the guys feed off of that. Fans enjoy that, because it is real and genuine."

Favre even added another accomplishment as the first 40-year-old quarterback to win a playoff game.

"Today was like this season: It's been wonderful," said Favre, whose only championship came 13 years ago with the Packers.

The Vikings, who had last week off while the Cowboys whipped Philadelphia, were bothered by all the people picking Dallas to win.

"The Tasmanian devils were coming from Dallas that were about to bombard the state of Minnesota and run through us like Sherman through the South," Childress said, exaggerating the popular opinion about this game. "All of us felt it quite palpably."

Ray Edwards led the Minnesota defense's harassment of Tony Romo, who sat stone-faced on the bench between possessions in the second half after a three-turnover game against one of his childhood favorites.

"Any time you come in with the expectations and goals we set and don't accomplish them, No. 1, it's frustrating," Romo said. "Right now, it's just hard to think the season is over."

Romo was sacked six times, three by Edwards, lost two of his three fumbles and threw an interception.

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