Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has taken an unusual approach to this weekend’s clash between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles:
Obviously the Cowboys were systematically dismantled by the Eagles on Thanksgiving Day. On paper it would appear that the Eagles should have no trouble beating the Cowboys once again, right?
Not so fast.
It’s not quite the same as former Dallas head coach Jimmy Johnson boldly predicting a victory via radio just prior to the 1994 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers at Texas Stadium. Having already built a two game winning streak against the 49ers, which began with a legendary victory in San Francisco in the previous NFC title game, all the marbles were in the Johnson’s hands and he wanted to make sure that a dying dynasty from the 1980s was well aware of that fact.
It worked better than expected as a 49ers organization known for its success and class came out of the tunnel before kickoff acting like a bunch of punks.
This time the stakes aren’t quite as high, but they’re up there. A win this time against the Eagles doesn’t exactly guarantee anything, but it places the Cowboys at the top of the NFC East with just two games to play.
Jones has responded with utter humility and total respect for a franchise that represents the biggest Dallas rival outside of Northern California, especially when the stakes are as high as they are right now.
Jones has been quoted this week as encouraging the Eagles to basically do exactly what they did a couple of weeks ago, especially on offense. Forget the pass-happy college offense of Eagles second year head coach Chip Kelly or backup quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Well, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News took the following from 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] when Jones discussed how the Eagles should approach his franchise in the most critical of rematches:
"“They’re not going to do anything different than they did last time. They’re going to try to run that McCoy. The bottom line is, we know what they’re going to do. And I would do the very same thing if I were them, they had a lot of success doing it.”"
Encouraging words for Kelly and his team?
Jones is actually, without saying it directly, daring the Eagles to try to do the same thing they did last time. He’s indirectly pointing out that his team will be completely prepared to make Sanchez beat his team this time.
Jones might be right on this one.
Lincoln Financial Field will be nothing like the friendly, climate controlled environment at Jerry Town. The Seattle Seahawks showed last weekend that the Kelly offense might not be so effective in the elements.
We’ll see if the Dallas defense can play a better game this weekend. One intangible going for that defense this time around is a long week heading into this game opposed to a very short week leading up to the turkey day affair.
Jones also puts Kelly in a weakened position by essentially helping to script Kelly’s game plan. In a not-so-subtle way, Jones is telling Kelly that instead of doing what you did last time, you’d better get that Sanchez guy ready to play one heck of a game.
Further bolstering Jones’ statements is the fact that his team remains undefeated on the road while having just pasted the Bears in chilly Chicago last Thursday night. That Cowboys victory really wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
Perhaps the Eagles are better than Chicago as their record suggests.
But maybe they are not.
Maybe the Cowboys do know what Philadelphia plans to do. If so, then Jones might be actually dictating the game before his team hops on the plane the Pennsylvania.
Well, two weeks is just about here. While some from the Eagles camp might think that Philadelphia is in Bryant’s head coming into this potentially season defining game, I’m not so sure this is the case.
On the contrary, Jones’ statements this week just might dance around in Kelly’s head as the former Oregon Ducks head coach has to really consider how the Eagles approach the rematch with Cowboys.
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