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Cowboys Not Focused On Bulletin Board Material


FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys' 60-year rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles hasn't exactly been brotherly love.

Just don't add Eagles coach Doug Pederson's recent quote to the long list of chippy back-and-forth between the rival NFC East franchises ahead of Sunday night's matchup at AT&T Stadium.

The Cowboys (3-3) don't seem offended or affected.

They're completely focused on themselves – what they must do on the field against the Eagles (3-3) to end a three-game losing streak and retake sole possession of first place in the division.

"What matters is what we go do on Sunday," running back Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday.

Pederson drew national headlines Monday when he said in a Philly radio station interview, "We're going down to Dallas and our guys are going to be ready to play. And we're going to win that football game, and when we do, we're in first place in the NFC East."

The Eagles' fourth-year coach clarified his comments Wednesday in a conference call with the Dallas-area media.

"Can I just clear something up real quick? I never used the term or the word 'guarantee,'" Pederson said. "All I was doing was showing confidence in my football team because there comes a point, especially here in Philadelphia, where you lose a game or two and everybody feels like everything's kind of caving in on the football team.

"For me, it was about standing up, kind of taking ownership of where we are as a football team – we're 3-3, it hasn't been perfect – and just showing confidence in my guys."

The Cowboys are in the same position. Once 3-0, they're now in the middle of their first three-game losing streak since 2017. They're also banged up. Six starters/key rotation players did not practice Wednesday due to injury: cornerback Anthony Brown, wide receiver Randall Cobb, right tackle La'el Collins, wide receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Byron Jones and left tackle Tyron Smith.

It's easy to see why Pederson's quote hasn't been a significant topic among the Cowboys' roster.

"It's all about what you do on Sunday," guard Zack Martin said. "We try to stay away from that in our locker room because at the end of the day it's what you do on Sunday night."

Offensively, the Cowboys must find ways to sustain and finish drives. They haven't scored a touchdown until the second half in their last three games. They've converted only 4 of their last 9 trips to the red zone.

"That's the big thing is to start fast," Martin said. "We can play as well as we want to in the second half, but if you're down it's tough to come back."

Defensively, the Cowboys held the Jets to 2-of-10 on third down and only 2.8 rushing yards per carry. But they also gave up five explosive pass plays, including a 92-yard touchdown by quarterback Sam Darnold.

"I think we've been inconsistent. There are times where I think we've played well and other times where we haven't," safety Jeff Heath said. "It's really hard to pinpoint what the main difference is. I think as a whole we've just got to be more disciplined.

"I think the effort's there. The fight's there. The physicality is there. All that's there. We just have to do our job better, be more disciplined, play smarter. That's basically it."

That's the focus. No bulletin board material needed.