To a diehard sports fan or sports media member, the biggest Eagles rivalry matchups are the most memorable in sports. Every year we duke it out with opposing fanbases for a year’s worth of bragging rights, and the hope that our team keeps a leg up on our bitter rivals in standings and playoff contention.
Over their history, the Philadelphia Eagles have delivered unforgettable performances in their division and defeat we’d love to bury. Let’s look at the biggest Eagles rivalry games over time, the most defining, good and bad.
Eagles Washington Rivalry
The rivalry with the Washington Commanders (Formerly the Washington Redskins) is the least intense. This has much to do with the Commanders being a poorly run franchise rarely in playoff contention, and they have closed the gap since 2000. The longest Super Bowl drought in the division doesn’t help the Commanders, limiting their fans with smack talk.
The Commanders lead the all-time series 89-83-6, with the most recent matchup being a 32-21 Commanders victory, the Eagles’ first loss of the 2022 season. The Commanders dominated the 70s and 80s, but since 1990, the Eagles are 41-26 against the Commanders. Washington players probably have the best golf handicap among NFC East teams because come playoff time they always seem to be on the course.
- The famous “Body Bag Game” of 1990 is still talked about to this day. In a 28-14 Eagles win, nine Washington players left with injuries. Ironically in pregame, Eagles’ head coach Buddy Ryan told reporters that Washington players would leave the game in body bags, which Eagles’ players yelled during the game.
- The “Monday Night Massacre” of 2010 is my favorite win over Washington. Michael Vick led the way to a 59-28 Eagles victory in Landover, where he passed for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Vick set multiple records, and Desean Jackson’s opening 88-yard touchdown was the longest play in Eagles’ history.
- 2019 featured two great matchups, but the 37-27 victory in Landover in week 15 was more memorable. Washington led 27-24 with less than five minutes remaining. Carson Wentz led an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ate up most of the remaining clock. With 26 seconds remaining, Wentz delivered a 4-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Greg Ward.
- 2005 was another painful season, and an attempt to stop a Washington playoff berth in week 17 fell short. The Eagles were defeated 31-20 after blowing a 10-point lead and were swept by Washington, who clinched a playoff berth in Philadelphia.
- After a 17-14 defeat to Washington in the first 2010 matchup, Philadelphia fans and media had to listen to the media’s claims that trading Donovan McNabb was “a mistake.” McNabb himself said it in the postgame. The Eagles would get revenge later on that season, but the loss was tough to swallow initially.
- If the 2020 season wasn’t painful enough for the Eagles, they blew a 17-point lead to Washington in week 1. They’d lose 27-17, and Carson Wentz threw two interceptions and lost three fumbles.
Eagles Giants Rivalry
Historically, the New York Giants are the biggest Eagles rival, as the Cowboys and Commanders are to each other. Both the Giants and Eagles have experienced Super Bowl wins in the new millennium, and the fanbases are strangely similar.
Eagles fans have dominated bragging rights since 2000, as the Eagles took a recent lead in the all-time series at 93-88-2. Since 2000, the Eagles are 34-16 against the Giants, the majority of the Eagles’ wins being blowouts.
- The Miracle at the Meadowlands is one of the most memorable Eagles’ wins of all time. With a 17-12 lead and no Eagles’ timeouts, all the Giants had to do was run out the clock. Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched a handoff. Fullback Larry Csonk fumbled, and Herm Edwards ran 26 yards the other way for the game-winning touchdown, an improbable 19-17 Eagles victory.
- The Miracle at the New Meadowlands was the highlight of the Eagles’ 2010 season. After trailing 31-10, the Eagles scored 28 points in 8 minutes. The 38-31 win was sealed on a Desean Jackson Punt return for a touchdown. We’re still laughing at Matt Dodge for punting to him.
- Jake Elliot’s leg is the story of the week 3 matchup in 2017. Despite blowing a 2-score lead, the Eagles were able to attempt a field goal after a 17-yard Carson Wentz completion to Alshon Jeffery with 1-second remaining. Elliott would nail a 61-yard field goal as time expired. The Eagles won 27-24, and this win sparked a 9-game winning streak.
- In what was already a brutal season in 1972, the Eagles got thrashed by the Giants in week 11, 62-10. My grandma absolutely hates this game.
- In week 2 of 2006, the Eagles blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. Fans will never forget Trent Cole’s personal foul to allow the game-tying field goal, and Plaxico Burress ripping hearts out with the game-winning overtime touchdown.
- In Andy Reid’s last game as Eagles head coach in 2012, the Eagles were dominated by the Giants 42-7 in New York. The Giants outscored the Eagles 35-7 at halftime, and Andy Reid was fired the following Monday, ending an era.
Eagles Cowboys Rivalry
Although the Giants may be the Eagles’ biggest rival, the Dallas Cowboys fans make Philadelphia fans and the media hate them the most. The Cowboys have been the biggest threat to the Eagles, resulting in more intense and meaningful matchups.
The Cowboys are 73-55 against the Eagles all-time. Since 2000, the Eagles are 24-23 against the Cowboys, with more splits against them than any other divisional opponent. The Cowboys have dominated recent matchups, but the Eagles having the most recent Super Bowl victory evens the playing field in fan discourse.
- The 1980 NFC Championship game was pivotal in this rivalry. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 20-7 in freezing temperatures in Philadelphia, punching a ticket to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. The signature play of this game was the Wilbert Montgomery 42-yard touchdown, who ran for 194 yards total that day. Montgomery did this while battling an injury, even more impressive.
- Stopping Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys twice on 4th and 1 in 1995 is a signature win of the Ray Rhodes era. The Eagles would win 20-17, a pivotal win for their playoff chances.
- Who can forget TO’s return to Philadelphia in 2006 as a Cowboy? Lito Sheppard picked off Drew Bledsoe twice, one returned 102 yards for a touchdown. TO was held to only 3 catches, 45 yards, and multiple dropped passes.
- The 44-6 massacre in 2008 is unforgettable as well. The Eagles would dominate Dallas on a day every scenario pulled in their favor for a trip to the playoffs. The 6-seed Eagles would make it to the NFC championship game.
- In 1992 the Eagles were dominated by the Cowboys, 34-10, in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Eagles’ defense had no answer for Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith.
- The 2005 matchup in Philadelphia was a punch in the gut. The Cowboys won 21-20 after McNabb was picked off by Roy Williams for a touchdown. He was injured on the play, suffering a sports hernia.
- Donovan McNabb’s air guitar lives in infamy. The Eagles looked unprepared in a 2009 loss to the Cowboys, 34-14, in the wild-card round. This was McNabb’s last game as an Eagle and the Eagles’ third loss to the Cowboys that season.
Which rivalry games in Philadelphia Eagles history are the most significant to you? How would you rank the Eagles’ rivals, from the best and most hated to least hated?