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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eagles - Cowboys Rivalry: Taking the Temperature

          I still hate the Cowboys.

          I will always hate the Cowboys.

          Growing up in the ‘80s with a dad and two of three brothers being Cowboys fans and the third not really being that into the Eagles, I often felt like the only Birds fan in Dallas – and I’ve lived in Philadelphia my whole life. (So did my front running family members, by the way.)

          When I hear about the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry fading with fans, I want to deny it.

          I hear people talk about Michael Irvin being likeable as an analyst for the NFL Network, and I’ll admit that he’s improved since leaving ESPN. But as a player Irvin was part of the second generation of Cowboys who I couldn’t stand. He was completely overrated, carried by Emmitt Smith, and his stupid first down celebration made Eagles fans just want to punch him in the face.

          Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, and even Barry Switzer, were Dallas head coaches we loved to hate.

          The national media still loves to trot out the “America’s Team” nonsense that many of us were forced to grow up hearing every Sunday afternoon.

          Jerry Jones is still a buffoon who the press can’t wait to praise because he owns the Dallas Cowboys.

          Tony Romo is still ridiculously overrated.

          And the front running Dallas “fans” from Philadelphia are still the most annoying turds on the sports planet.

          But I will admit that the rivalry has cooled. I take comfort in the fact that the biggest reason for the lack of passion to beat Dallas is that the Cowboys just aren’t a great team any more. That’s not to suggest from an unemotional point of view that they can’t win Sunday night; I think Eagles fans should be very concerned about the game. But it’s not the old Cowboys. A win Sunday night (barring flukes) would suggest that they’re the better of two bad teams. They haven’t won a Super Bowl in a while, and they’re not a real threat to win one any time soon. As much as Eagles fans don’t want to admit it, part of why we hate the Cowboys was that they won – a lot.

          Romo eventually proves that he’s a fraud every season. So, it never gets too bad listening to the media kiss his rear end. Now, Eagles fans are praying that Romo has a long, long career in Dallas because (despite Jones’ disillusions) he stinks. If he ever hoists the Lombardi Trophy I might have to stop watching the NFL because the football universe just won’t make sense any more, but I’m really not that worried about it.

          Their head coach is Jason Garret.  Who cares? He doesn’t stir any emotions for Eagles fans. He may be a good coach, but it almost feels like some little kid is coaching the Cowboys until the real coach gets back.

          Even Jones is less annoying because we all know he’s never again going to relinquish control of the franchise to someone who can actually win. He’s too much of an ego maniac.

          Besides all of that, I think the biggest problem causing what I think is a temporary thaw in the emotion fans feel for the rivalry is, yes, Andy Reid. I’m really not trying to rip the Eagles head coach every day this week – though I can’t say it’s killing me. I just think the “Fire Andy” sentiment is growing. Fans aren’t quite ready to root for the Eagles to totally fall apart for the betterment of our team (and it will always be our team) in the hope that Reid finally gets the boot, but I don’t think we’re all that far from it. I just don’t think it would break our hearts to see the Eagles finish 4-12 if it got Reid out of Philadelphia.

          If we ever do get to that point, Eagles fans would still want the remaining two wins that 4-12 would bring this season to be against the stinkin’, rotten, overhyped Dallas Cowboys.

          Because in Philadelphia, no matter what, “Dallas sucks!”

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