Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry Explained: Best of ‘Dallas Week’ pressers

Philadelphia Eagles’ DeVonta Smith catches a touchdown pass with Dallas Cowboys’ DaRon Bland defending during the second half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

There is no love lost between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. It’s one of the nastiest rivalries in football, maybe in all of sports. The players in the locker can feel how important winning this game is to the city and its rabid fan base. However, don’t misconstrue that importance as incompetence.

The Eagles know what at’s stake. Lose and surrender a stranglehold on the NFC East. Lose and risk home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Lose and, well, handicap a shot at a rematch with those posers in the Taylor Swift Fan Club. No, this is ‘Dallas Week’ and the Eagles understand the mission. And, according, to left tackle Jordan Mailata, the team is ready to ‘Top Gun”  that mission without losing focus.

“The rivalry with the fans and stuff, we can’t let that come between us, we just need to focus on our process and that’s what we’re going to do,” Mailata told reporters. “We understand the importance of this week and how big it is for the culture of Philadelphia and what it means to the city. We don’t want the fans to misunderstand us that way, we understand the importance, but in terms of daily deposits, that’s what we’re going to do, just stick to the process.”

But, wait, this is a blood feud. This is … America’s Team vs. America’s Most Wanted …

“I think because it’s America’s Team, just that name,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “Just like us, we got a target on our back and I’m sure they got one because they want to stop everyone from calling it America’s Team and all that stuff.”

Fair point, but what if your name is … Dallas?

“I get a lot of jokes about my name going with it but it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year,” Eagles TE Dallas Goedert said. “Anytime we get to play Dallas it’s a lot of fun, you know they always give us a challenge, and it’s always competitive and they have a lot of hatred against us and vice versa.”

Fletcher Cox Says Defense Has ‘No Identity’

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) celebrates a sack during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox doesn’t think this year’s defense has an identity. Rewind the tape on that sentence. The Eagles’ defense and their 25 sacks have so much to improve on …

“To be honest with you, I still don’t think as a defense we’ve found out identity,” Cox told reporters. “I think we’re still kind of searching for it. We’re still finding ways to win the game, that’s the biggest part about it, we’re finding ways to slow offenses down and stop them from what they want to do in certain parts of the game but I think we’re still finding our identity.”

Injury Update on QB Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throwing the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Tight end Dallas Goedert provided an injury update on quarterback Jalen Hurts, perhaps not intended to be taken so seriously but it was. Goedert confirmed that Hurts is struggling a bit using his legs while being confined to the pocket. Luckily, he’s been playing well and making throws.

“It’s making him stay in the pocket and he’s doing a good job in there,” Goedert said. “I think he’s got some great numbers from inside the pocket and he’s just proving more of what he can do. He doesn’t need his legs even those are a big weapon for him, but the things he can do with his arm and his mind are really up there at the elite level as well.”

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth