Consider the context of Jerry Jones' quote

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
3:17
PM ET
I know, I know. Reason and perspective are strange and wary travelers when they wander into an NFL debate. But we're going to try to nudge them in again, for the sake of sanity.

The issue is this Jerry Jones quote that's getting all of this attention. Jones told Dallas Cowboys fans at a pep rally this week, "Y'all should come to Cowboys Stadium and watch us beat the Giants' asses." Predictably, New York Giants fans are annoyed (or maybe more amused) by this, since the Giants beat the Cowboys twice in the final four weeks of the season last year in games that determined the outcome of the NFC East race. Who is Jones to even suggest such a thing as a beating of the hind quarters of the defending Super Bowl champions?

I just think it's worth remembering where this was said. Jones wasn't giving an interview or being asked to predict the division. He was speaking at a pep rally -- specifically, trying to fire up Cowboys fans at "a festival-like event that featured a few skydivers and a performance from the franchise's famous cheerleaders." If you can't make outrageous, over-the-top boasts in the midst of skydivers and cheerleaders, well then where can you?

I think we all know Jones has respect for the Giants and what they did at the end of last year. He's spoken since the end of last season about needing to be more like the Giants, about how the way Eli Manning played ended up being the difference between the two teams, etc. I think that kind of stuff tells us more about what Jones really thinks than does whatever he decided to shout at a pep rally to fire up his fans on the first day of training camp. And for that reason, it's hard for me to get worked up and say Jones was out of line.

But that's just me. Continue, if you wish, with your outrage.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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