The Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry: Six Decades in the Making
The evolution of a rivalry makes for some of the greatest matchups of all time. They showcase brilliance, victory, failure, and conflict, and the battle in the NFC East has proven no different.
The Eagles-Cowboys rivalry is now six decades in the making. It was ranked number one overall in the NFL in 1992 and 2014, leaving many to wonder what happened. Why do the Eagles hate the Cowboys so much?
A History of Animosity
Since the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys first met on the field in 1960, they have had 122 matchups. The Cowboys currently lead the series 69-53. The two teams have played bitterly contested games throughout the years, cluing us into this generational showdown.
- From 1967-1979, the Eagles lost to the Cowboys in all but three games. In 1980 however, the Eagles won the NFC East after a tiebreaker.
- In 1989, both teams met in the Bounty Bowls — nicknamed after an accusation made by Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson that the Eagles set a bounty on Dallas players. Regardless of the drama, the Eagles won both games.
- From 1991-1995, the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs twice despite ranking number one in defense, and the Cowboys won the Super Bowl three times.
- In 1999, Cowboys’ receiver Michael Irvin was tackled in Veterans Stadium, suffering a career-ending spinal cord injury. Eagles fans cheered. Not a good look for us.
- From 1999 until Week 6 of 2003, the Eagles won every matchup against the Cowboys.
- 2004 brought the highest-scoring game in the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry and another win by the Eagles.
- In the 2008 season, the Eagles and Cowboys had the second-most first-half points in Monday Night Football history and most combined points in the rivalry’s history. The Cowboys won. Later that year, they would face off for the wild card playoff position. The Eagles sent the Cowboys back to Dallas in a 44-6 blowout.
- The Cowboys eliminated the Eagles from the playoffs in 2010, 2012, and 2014, with the exception of 2013 when the Eagles pulled a 180, eliminating the Cowboys.
Battle of the Quarterback
2016 introduced an entirely new aspect to the Philly-Dallas rivalry — Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. The rookie year may have proven successful for Prescott, but Wentz’s talent sent him soaring in 2017. Despite injuries, the Eagles won the Super Bowl with quarterback Nick Foles in 2018. Wentz returned to 13 teammates on the injured reserve list, and he was unstoppable. The Eagles won the 2019 division.
The era has been rampant in professional and personal battles, and while there are two other teams in the NFC East, the Cowboys have always remained the most threatening.
Since 1960, the Eagles have 11 divisional championships and one Super Bowl win, compared to 23 divisional wins and five Super Bowl victories for the Cowboys. But we can only compare history for so long.
A Grudge Lasts Longer in Philly
While I can’t speak for Dallas fans, I can tell you that Eagles fans are ranked among the best in the NFL for good reason. We bleed green, we have the most famous fight song in the NFL, we trademarked ourselves as “underdogs,” and we will come out on top. We’re Philly.
And in true Philly fashion, we believe we’re the best. Modestly speaking, we work hard.
Out of 32 teams in the NFL that represent different cities across the country, only one team calls themselves “America’s team.” Better yet, they gave themselves that name before an Eagles/Cowboys game, so naturally, we’re going to have a problem with that. It’s offensive.
We’re a blue-collar team that doesn’t need the glitz and glamour to prevail. To be told otherwise is a slap in the face. It not only makes it a competition on the field, but a battle of class and culture.
“Of course, I don’t like the Cowboys. It’s just the arrogance. The organization. ‘America’s Team’”. – Jason Peters
Does the Past Dictate the Future?
“American’s team” may have the Eagles beat in terms of number of games won, but the question is, are the Cowboys still that good?
The Cowboys had a successful run with Super Bowl wins in 1992, 1993, and 1995, but in the last 20 years, the Eagles have taken the NFC East Championship nine times with one Super Bowl win. On the other hand, the Cowboys have won the NFC East four times with no Super Bowl wins.
Philly has come a long way in terms of coaching, a resilient offensive and defensive line, explosive plays, and injury adaptability. And while you can’t take that away from us, Philly has never been given the credit they deserve. But yet again, no one likes us…
The fact remains that whoever wins the NFC East is one step closer to the Super Bowl. The Eagles-Cowboys rivalry has been a measure of both teams’ successes, and the upcoming season (despite the pandemic struggles) will not be any less important. A little competition never hurt anyone, right?