Friday, January 8, 2010
50 years of bad blood for Cowboys, Eagles
By Jeremy Schaap, Matt Doyle and Lydelle King
The 1,400 miles between their stadiums are the least of what separates the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys.
If Philadelphia has grit, Dallas has glitz. The Cowboys have won five Super Bowls, the Eagles none. No one is spared the wrath of Eagles fans -- not even Santa Claus.
Cowboys fans tend to be more genteel. If Tom Landry's suit and fedora epitomized the Cowboys' corporate culture, the Eagles' aggressive stance was embodied by that old school brawler Buddy Ryan.
In the fifty seasons they've been playing against each other, the Cowboys have won 56 times, the Eagles 44. But the bad blood those games generated can hardly be measured, nor the real blood spilt.
Some of the participants in the rivalry's recent years recalled some of the more memorable moments:
BUDDY RYAN (Eagles head coach, 1986-90): What made me mad was in the strike year  he [Tom Landry] played his front four, which were his starters and the running back and the quarterback. And we had people off the street, you know, you weren't supposed to be playing them. I told him after the game 'When you come back to Philly we're gonna whip your butt.' And of course we did for the next five years.
|Buddy Ryan (1989)|
DARREN WOODSON (Cowboys safety, 1992-2003): I remember the play when Michael Irvin went down. To have a guy laying on the field with a neck injury, and then the fans ... it was classless. But this is what you expect from an organization, well, not an organiztion, but a fan base that booed Santa Claus.
RON JAWORSKI (Eagles QB, 1977-86): I really think when Steve Sabol and NFL Films coined the term America's Team, I think it just ticked everybody off. Why are they America's Team? Why wasn't Philadelphia America's Team? Yeah, obviously, the Cowboys were winning and everything else, but the people in Philadelphia were very provential saying, 'Hey we don't like that term. Why are they America's Team?' So they became the team that the people in Philadelphia hated ...
ED 'TOO TALL' JONES (Cowboys DE, 1974-78, 1980-89): I think those rivalries for years took football to another level. I think that whether you're a Cowboys fan or an Eagles fan, I think the public appreciates good hard-nosed football from very talented ball clubs and coaching staffs. And again I think that it's made a difference in why we love the game of football. Those rivalries of the Cowboys and Eagles.
DREW PEARSON (Cowboys WR, 1973-83): We didn't expect what we got [in losing to Philadelphia in the 1980 NFC Championship]. We were too concerned maybe about their fans. We were too concerned maybe about the weather, what to wear, what not to wear. Maybe too concerned about the field, what cleats worked, what didn't work on that sorry field at the Vet.