Every time the Philadelphia Eagles face down the Dallas Cowboys, the game carries extra meaning. We analyze it all week, deal with Cowboys fans who attempt to talk up their team (usually only when they are winning and have something to talk about), and get ourselves ready for a major showdown.
This year, with all the coaching and player turnover, a huge reminder of the rivalry in place is needed.
ESPN posted an article yesterday about the rivalry, highlighting the experience of the new players. And while Connor Barwin and Cary Williams understand the importance of this game, there are deeper currents here that the team needs to access to get enough momentum to break the home win curse that is currently standing at over a year.
If I was Billy Davis, I’d skip the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ film he normally shows for inspiration and put together a Eagles-Cowboys highlight reel of the team’s defense sacking Troy Aikman 11 times in one game, Buddy Ryan‘s fake kneel-down with Randal Cunningham at the helm, Terrell Owens celebrating a score by standing on the Dallas star in Texas Stadium, the team stuffing Emmit Smith twice on the famous fourth-and-one and Jim Johnson‘s defense dominating in a 44-6 win to seal a playoff birth in 2008.
It is time for this defense to adapt the mentality of the city and the fans. The Linc needs to return to being a home field with an advantage. The 12th man must make an appearance on Sunday. Barwin, Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Benny Logan and the other new additions have three days to adopt the Cowboys’ hate as their own.
This is a game to play on fire and, if they can pull off a win, it will be a huge momentum swing in the division and great footing to gain ground in the next few weeks against some lesser opponents. We’ve been missing a complete game from this defense all year and this would be the place to make it happen.