If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, there’s nothing worse and nothing better than the Dallas Cowboys’ being good. When Philadelphia and Dallas meet it is usually a very hard contest full of drama, excitement and some fun along the way. This rivalry has been dating back several years and has had its share of unusual cast of characters.
In the late 1980s, legendary coach Buddy Ryan was very successful in what Ryan liked to call “wiping the smirk off Tom Landry’s face”, when the Eagles sort of dominated the series in Landry’s last few seasons. Then there was the first half of this decade when the Eagles won 9 out 10 games against our Cowboys and made the Eagles a hated rival in the NFC East. All it really proved though was that “bandwagon” fans ran out to buy Eagle jerseys and that Andy Reid may have been a little better head coach than Dave Campo was.
For a rivalry to truly be a rivalry worth the name, it requires an opponent worthy of respect and maybe a little fear. Well let me tell you, the “boys” are there once again. As I look back over the decades between these two teams, I remind myself of some good times, some bad times, and rather funny times. Like the time Buddy Ryan was accused of putting out a “on the field hit” on certain Cowboy stars to gain an unfair advantage. Of course let us not forget our beloved T.O. (Terrell Owens) when he was an Eagle and performed some of the best end zone celebration antics ever witnessed in Texas Stadium. This was indeed not pleasing or delightful to the Cowboy’s faithful. Who would have ever thought a few short years later, T.O. would become an elite member of “America’s team”.
Over the years the regular season has brought some unforgettable matchups, but few have shaped up any bigger in advance than Monday nights’ showdown at the soon to be doomed Texas Stadium. After week 1 of the 2008-2009 campaign has come and gone, both the Cowboy’s and Eagle’s first games seemed to be a Sunday walk in the park. So, Cowboys fans get ready because the hated Eagles are coming to “Big D” this Monday ready to play and for both teams the real season and division kicks into high gear. For the fans, the drama has already begun. The on-going, sometimes called soap opera that takes place at Valley Ranch with all its compelling characters like Tony Romo, T.O., and let us not forget a guy named “Pacman”. Not to mention our hero Jerry Jones, I think we carry into this game a little extra edge. Even though it’s early in this young season, in this writer’s opinion, I think this will be a statement game to the Eagles that the Cowboys are defending NFC East champs.
The Eagles, if they can pick up where they left off before McNabb’s run of injuries, have a chance to see the championship light, but to do that, they must first get past the Cowboys. The Cowboys are a confident bunch and a very experienced bunch. After all, there is a reason why they won 13 games last year.
Now I will say, McNabb certainly looked like his best self in Sunday’s dismantling of the St. Louis Rams, but after all it was the Rams which we all know have not been to the Super Bowl since Moses went up the mountain with his 13 inch color T.V. to get better reception. We will know a lot more in a few days when McNabb and company come to town. They should not come in brimming with confidence and “cockiness”, because they will leave Texas giving their soul to God and their asses’ to the Cowboys! This Cowboy’s team is no joking matter and is once again the kind of rival worth taking serious.