“We want Dallas, Dallas, we HATE you…Dallas!”
Most likely, the scruffy, bearded man on the classic NFL films video had probably downed one too many Schmidt’s beers in the Veterans Stadium parking lot before professing his disdain for “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys. Or maybe he could have been drinking Schlitz or Miller High Life as well. But his statement echoes the sentiments of many in the Delaware Valley…we just love to hate the Cowboys.
The feeling is really not mutual. On the two occasions that I’ve been to Dallas (once at the old Texas Stadium in 2004 and again in 2009 at the new Cowboys Stadium), the fans have been nothing but nice, though the detractors would say that it is really a “phony” kind of nice. I’ve never hung around in the “Metroplex” (as the Dallas – Ft. Worth area is called) long enough to know which opinion is accurate.
So why do we hate Dallas? Perhaps it is the smugness with which the Cowboys conduct business. Perhaps it’s Jerry Jones and his larger than life persona (though we hated the ‘Boys in the days of Tex Schramm and Tom Landry as well, when Jones was still a young tyke poking his head in the ground and searching for oil). Or perhaps it’s the title of America’s Team, coined by NFL Films Editor Bob Ryan when working on the team’s 1978 highlight film.
Which begs the question…are you really America’s Team when you’ve only achieved one playoff win in the last sixteen seasons? During that same stretch, the Eagles have won ten playoff games if you’re keeping count. I know, I know, the ‘Boys have five Super Bowl rings while we still have a big , fat goose egg, but if you haven’t won a Super Bowl in the last ten years, how many you had in the past is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned.
But whatever the reason may be, on January 11, 1981, the Eagles exercised their demons and years of futility by beating Dallas in the NFC Championship game, 27-10, which to this day remains the only time the two teams have faced off in the NFC Championship game. It is also the Eagles only postseason win (out of four tries) against the Cowboys.
And while we are only in Week 7 of the NFL season, this week’s game will be huge, if only for the fact that the winner will be in 1st place in the NFC East with a 4-3 record, in a division where 8-8 could win it.
While the Eagles, with Nick Foles at quarterback, have the ability to actually score in the red zone, the downside is that the defense will be hard pressed to stop Tony Romo, who is a far cry from facing a rookie like Tampa QB Mike Gleason, or an error prone Eli Manning.
But with the home fans at the Linc hungry for a win and in a frenzy, and the accuracy of Nick Foles continuing, the Birds win this Sunday, 37-34.
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):
Seahawks at Cardinals 8:25 PM NFL Ntwrk (Thurs) – The Land of the Sun welcomes the Land of the Clouds in a rare Thursday night marquee matchup, though I’m coming around to the idea that weekly Thursday night football is not such a good idea.
Bengals at Lions 1:00 PM CBS – An intra-conference battle as the Queen City visits Motown. Though coincidentally, did you know that many Chryslers are made in Ohio?
Niners at Titans 4:05 PM FOX – Wonder if Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh will don cowboy hats and visit a country western bar after the game.
Broncos at Colts 8:30 PM NBC – Peyton Manning goes back to where it all began, and where he won only ONE Superbowl. Andrew Luck has the Colts thinking Super Bowl earlier than anticipated.
The Last Word – Speaking of the fans, the Eagles have lost eight straight games at home dating back to last year. To put that in perspective, an Eagles season ticket holder who’s made a financial investment in the team over the course of the last year (which usually covers eight home regular season games) has ZERO wins to show for it. Let’s change that this Sunday peeps!