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Rivalry Renewed: Cowboys, Eagles Ready To Rumble


It's a rivalry that dates all the way back to the 1960's – the Eagles won the first three meetings against the Cowboys, but America's Team eventually found it's groove and it's been intense ever since.

On Sunday, the Cowboys head to one of the most hostile environments in the NFL – with a chip on their shoulder and victory on their minds.

"I think anytime you have division games and rivalry games and the history, we will definitely educate our younger players on what they're getting into," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "This game obviously means a lot to both teams; they're undefeated, we're 4-1 so I mean, all that plays into it. But the division games to me are always the most fun, most competitive."

Dallas holds a 72-54 lead in the all-time series, and are riding the high of a two-game sweep over the Eagles in the 2021 season, besting their division rivals in blowout fashion.

But this team knows better than anyone that in this rivalry, the past is just that.

"It's kind of that that battle of the trenches that we've always had versus them, and it looks like it's going to be that way again, this year," said right guard Zack Martin. "They got a lot of the same cast they've had for a long time and, you know, they're playing extremely well right now. So we're gonna have our work cut out for us, but we're looking forward to it."

Even the new faces know the challenge that lies ahead. Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson is leaning on the week's preparation to help him stay locked in.

"Having the two division games before this, you kind of get a sense of what these division games mean," he said. "Coming in today and just hearing and reiterating its Division Week, but it's also Philly week. You kind of get that sort of feeling everywhere you go."

The Cowboys, who have won four-straight with Cooper Rush behind center, will have to contend with an Eagles team who has yet to be beaten this season, thanks to quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has shown steady improvement game in and game out.

Defensive end Dorance Armstrong hopes his performance against Matthew Stafford and the Rams carries over against a play caller he is more than familiar with.

"Me and Jalen Hurts go back to like four or five years of age, so it's always kind of personal between me and him," said Armstrong. "I played him in high school – we had was rivalries… and then he beat me on the hill my senior year. So yeah, this is pretty personal."

But before the Cowboys can even get to the gameplan against Jalen Hurts, they have to get to the field first, on the long and daunting bus ride to Lincoln Financial Field, surrounded by the Philadelphia faithful.

"Philly fans are extremely passionate," said Martin. "Obviously when the Cowboys come in town, they don't have much love for us. But in my experience, these those hostile environments, it kind of brings everyone kind of closer together because there's such a premium on communication and keeping your emotions level. I think it brings out the best in us."

"I can't lie and say when you walk into the stadium you won't acknowledge what's happening," added Armstrong. "But it's time to get to work and we know what we got to do when we get there."

As they head into Eagles territory, no one is more equipped to be the general leading this team than former Philly guard Jason Peters. While it's a homecoming for the nine-time Pro Bowler, as far as Philly fans are concerned, he's on the wrong side of the 2022 edition of this rivalry.

"They're gonna be feisty, they're gonna be throwing stuff, talking all kinds of noise, but we'll be ready," said Peters. "I got my first Super Bowl there and I laid a lot of a lot of bricks there. So, I mean Philly, that's my city. And just to go back, you know, it'd be great to beat them."

Every year, the stakes get higher, and 2022 is no exception. A Dallas win would vault the Cowboys into first place of the NFC East, a feat that seemed fantasy just a few weeks ago.

Two teams, both with something to prove, and in this Battle of the Big Dogs, the Cowboys hope it's the underdogs who come out on top.

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