- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – Now Rob Ryan is providing plenty of hype about the Philadelphia Eagles.
His infamous “all-hype team” jab during training camp backfired when the Eagles kicked the Cowboys’ butts all over Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 30. (“It was unfortunate that we got our brains kicked in after I did that,” Ryan said.) Ryan’s eager for the rematch, but he had nothing but nice things to say about the Cowboys’ Christmas Eve opponent.
Never mind that the Eagles, by and large, have proven Ryan right by going from heavy preseason NFC East favorites to a team with a 6-8 record clinging to slim playoff hopes. After reviewing the film of Philly racking up 495 yards and 34 points against his defense, Ryan raved about the Eagles’ talent.
“I know they’ve got great coaches and all that, but I’ve documented that enough,” Ryan said. “I think their players are great. Obviously those X’s and O’s move so fast. There’s not a team like that that has the speed that they have. That’s the biggest thing you’ve got to deal with – their speed and their players.”
That pair of playmakers inflicted an amazing amount of damage on Dallas in the rivals’ last meeting. McCoy rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries and added 15 yards on two catches. Vick completed 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 50 yards on seven carries.
“Every time they have the ball in their hands – and usually Vick does have the ball in his hands – we’re on high alert,” Ryan said.
Referring to Vick’s speed and elusiveness, Ryan said, “Hell, the damn guy changes the game.”
He had especially high praise for McCoy, comparing him to a Hall of Famer.
“And my guys give me crap because you can’t throw enough bouquets to that guy,” Ryan said. “He’s tough, he’s quick, he’s everything. I saw Barry Sanders kill us one game, and then I saw this kid, and I never noticed the difference except the decal. The guy’s fantastic.
“We got great players, too. And we’re going to show up.”