It’s officially “Dallas Week” in the city of brotherly love. The Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys face off for the first time this season on Monday Night Football, and all eyes are pointed toward new Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and how he handles the pressure.
Thus far, Sirianni has done his best to lean into this historic rivalry. Only time will tell if it effectively pumps up his players or not, but one thing is certain. The Cowboys are not particularly amused.
Cowboys players responded negatively to the Eagles’ “Beat Dallas” t-shirts
Taking on “Dallas Week” for the first time as a member of the Eagles organization, Sirianni is pulling out all the stops to make sure fans and players alike know he’s taking it seriously. The first-year head coach is coming off an embarrassing play-calling performance against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 and needs to impress moving forward or risk losing the faith of some of the team’s more established veterans.
While Philly might be loving the idea of their team’s head coach walking around in a “Beat Dallas” shirt, the Cowboys weren’t all that impressed. When questioned about the possibility of Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy wearing a “Beat Philly” shirt, running back Ezekiel Elliott responded unenthusiastically.
“No. We stay in our lane,” said Elliott (Yahoo Sports)
Are the Cowboys overlooking the Eagles?
With Elliott seemingly brushing off the importance of Week 3’s Monday night showdown, a question begs to be answered.
Is Dallas overlooking Philly?
This is a complicated question. However, the overly simple answer is no, they’re not. The Cowboys are finally turning their attention back toward making a deep run in the postseason with a healthy Dak Prescott under center. In contrast, the Eagles are in the beginning stages of what projects to be a multi-year rebuild. As fun as this rivalry has been throughout football history, the Cowboys should — in theory — have bigger fish to fry in 2021.
One of the key points to the Eagles/Cowboys rivalry was the debate between Prescott and former Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz. Both players were drafted in the same year, and both fanbases argued that their respective QB was superior. With Wentz now playing for the Indianapolis Colts, there’s little to debate at the QB position between the two franchises.
Jalen Hurts looked good during his Week 1 performance against the Atlanta Falcons. However, it’d be pretty ridiculous to compare him to Prescott at this stage of his career.
Both teams are battling crippling injuries
Another reason contributing to the lack of hype surrounding the looming NFC East showdown is the sheer number of injuries impacting the game.
Both the Cowboys and Eagles are dealing with massive losses, primarily across the offensive and defensive lines. The Cowboys will be without star pass-rusher Demarcus Lawrence and WR Michael Gallup. The Eagles will likely be operating without LT Jordan Mailata (doubtful), RG Brandon Brooks, TE Zach Ertz (doubtful), and DE Brandon Graham.
The Cowboys benefit from the recent injury bug more than the Eagles, but losing Lawrence is still a big blow to the Dallas defense.
Regardless, the two sides will have to mentally find a way to get up for the game on Monday. Even if the Cowboys aren’t 100% in on the rivalry this year, looking past Philadelphia too much would result in an embarrassing loss at home.