The reason Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has always been such a hit with those of us who write about the NFL is because he says what's on his mind. He gives it to you straight, and he's not overly worried what people think about what he says. So with a big division game looming Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Cowb0ys by 27 points in their first meeting this year, Jones wasn't putting on any brave face during a Tuesday radio appearance:
"Because it is the Eagles and after the butt-kicking they gave us up in Philadelphia, I'm scared," Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. "It's that kind of feeling. The respect turns into being afraid of what they can do to you if you have some breakdowns out there, so you can put that scared there if you want to. I think sometimes I know I do my best when I'm scared."
Yeah, sure. The Eagles can be scary. And they haven't looked any scarier all year than they did in that Week 8 victory over the Cowboys. And yeah, maybe there was some Andy Reid post-bye week magic at work that night, but the fact is the Cowboys got an up-close look at what the Eagles are capable of, and it's hard to blame them if they got scared by it.
At the very least, it ensures that they won't take a 6-8 Eagles team lightly this weekend. The Cowboys hold a one-game lead on the Giants and a two-game lead on the Eagles in the NFC East. The Cowboys will win the division if they win and the Giants lose this weekend. If only one of those things happens -- or if neither does -- the Cowboys will be playing for the NFC East title on New Year's Day against the Giants. They hold most of the cards in this jumbled division race, and they know that if they win their games they don't have to be scared of anybody. In fact, Jones thinks the Cowboys themselves have a chance to scare some people if they do get into the playoffs.
"The stage is set for us to do something special," Jones said. "We're a team that could get on a roll. We have a talent level that could have some fun here during the next two games and the playoffs if we can get there."
He's right, as long as the defense gets on track here in the next couple of weeks. If they don't, the Eagles are going to look as scary on Saturday as they did at Lincoln Financial Field on the night before Halloween.