NFC East: Shady's Remarks Make Football More Fun

22 October 2017: Cooper Rush (7) of the Dallas Cowboys during their week 7 regular season 40-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

I absolutely love this time of year, when people say stuff to get their fans excited about the season and it becomes a national storyline. I love it even more when it involves someone prominently linked to the team I cover.

Jerry Jones did this two years ago, when he told a raucous crowd here in Oxnard, California, to come to Dallas to watch the Cowboys "beat the New York Giants' asses." Jones was half-right – the Cowboys downed New York to open the 2012 season, though they lost the rematch at home.

This time it's reigning rushing champion LeSean McCoy turning heads again. McCoy told a group of fans at Eagles training camp "I own Dallas" while on his way to do an NFL Network interview. The explosive running back has shown a penchant for needling the Cowboys – before last season's winner-take-all Week 17 rematch, McCoy referred to them as the "Cowgirls."

I could take this opportunity to break down McCoy's stats against Dallas – they're pretty good, but they hardly denote ownership. In nine career games against the Cowboys, McCoy has a 4-5 record. He's carried the ball 139 total times for 719 yards and two touchdowns. He's also got 25 career receptions against Dallas for 153 yards and a touchdown.

Some stats jump out there: firstly, it's pretty surprising that McCoy has found the end zone just three times against the Cowboys. Secondly, McCoy's a bit boom-or-bust when it comes to this division rivalry. He's been the starter in Philly for six of these matchups. His six rushing totals: 149, 185, 35, 82, 55, 131. [embedded_ad]

Credit where it's due, though: McCoy's last outing against the Cowboys was that 131-yard night that helped the Eagles claim the NFC East crown last December.

Back to the original point: Shady McCoy's ownership status of the Cowboys doesn't really matter here.

For the sake of context, it's worth pointing out that the NFL Network personality McCoy was on his way to be interviewed by was none other than Michael Irvin. With a Hall of Fame member of the Cowboys on hand, it's only natural to expect the Eagles' best player to talk some smack.

Apart from that, I happen to think it's fun when football players say football-type things. Players' unwillingness to provide so-called "bulletin board material" seems to have taken the luster out of a lot of the big rivalries in this sport.

It was fun when Jason Pierre-Paul predicted the Giants would "put it on" the Cowboys last fall, and it was even more fun when Jason Hatcher responded to the trash talk by smearing his face with fake blood in the victorious visitors' locker room after the game.

It's refreshing to see a big-name player like LeSean McCoy who is unafraid to make things interesting. There's supposed to be a little extra excitement in the air when NFC East rivals go against each other, and comments like Shady's make that possible.

The first matchup between Dallas and Philly won't be until Thanksgiving, unfortunately, so we've got a long time to wait. But it's going to be fun to re-visit this comment when game week rolls around.

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