Philadelphia Eagle Kamu Grugier-Hill made his intentions clear regarding this Sundays’ Cowboys-Eagles showdown.
The Eagles have big plans for Dallas this weekend. 👀 pic.twitter.com/B2SJwDlsih
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 5, 2018
Naturally, Hill’s comment could not be ignored, prompting a response from the “chokers” themselves:
Jaylon Smith asked if he saw the comments from Eagles LB Kamu Grugier-Hill about making the Cowboys choke: "Yeahhhhh, oh man. That's crazy. That's a rival game. You got guys that talk a lot. When the lights turn on, we're prepared. We just have to focus on us."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 6, 2018
Dak Prescott, asked about the quotes coming out of Philly this week: “You know, Coach Garrett has a great saying. I don’t know where he got it from, but winners worry about winning and losers worry about winners. We’re focused on ourselves in this locker room.” #cowboyswire
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) December 6, 2018
This is all fine and well. After all, Cowboys vs. Eagles has quite the history: producing some of the most polarizing and bitter matchups in the history of the National Football League.
The Bounty Bowl: In a 1989 Thanksgiving showdown (resulting in a 27-0 Eagles Victory), newly appointed Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson believed hits on quarterback Troy Aikman and punter Luke Zendejas were unsportsmanlike. Following the game, Johnson had some choice words when asked his opinion on the Eagles:
I have absolutely no respect for the way they played the game, I would have said something to Buddy, but he wouldn’t stand on the field long enough. He put his big, fat rear end into the dressing room.
Bounty Bowl 2: Ahh yes, a sequel. Who doesn’t love an encore? The second game in that 1989 season quickly revealed that no love had been lost between the two franchises. During the game (again a Philadelphia victory), the visiting Cowboys were pelted with beer and snowballs by angry Philadelphians.
Kris Richard’s Leadership Vs. Philly’s Championship Pride
Simply put, the Cowboys and the Eagles hate each other, and if the past 119 matchups provide any indication, they will continue to hate each other this Sunday at AT&T Stadium where the boys in blue are favored to win.
That being said, the reigning Super Bowl champions will not go away quietly. No one will be surprised if Philadelphia comes out swinging in a playoff-caliber game.
Although swinging is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys have been doing for the last month, delivering four consecutive blows to Atlanta, Philly, Washington, and New Orleans. While the offense has contributed with solid play by Ezekiel Elliot and Amari Cooper, the defense deserves the bulk of the praise. Passing game coordinator Kris Richard has instilled an aggressive identity into this Cowboys’ defense not seen since the 90s.
The environment will be hostile, sparks will fly prior to kickoff, and enough trash will be talked to overflow a landfill. The only unknown is the final score. The victor is awarded supremacy over the NFC East (and the heart and soul of their opponent). The Cowboys and Eagles have dominated both the NFC and each other over the last two seasons. As a result, the series finale between these two teams has been insignificant for the last several seasons. Not this season. With both teams on winning streaks and only four games left in the season, this game matters. A lot.
Sunday will remind everyone what this rivalry is all about- two teams punching each other in the mouth for a playoff spot.
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