Eagles

10 Eagles-Cowboys facts you probably didn't know

10 Eagles-Cowboys facts you probably didn't know

Earlier this year, I came up with my list of the 10 top plays in the history of the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry. You can find that here.

But let’s try something different this time. Here are 10 Eagles-Cowboys facts you probably didn’t know, that I didn’t know either until I looked them up!

A surprise leading rusher 

Did you know Correll Buckhalter has the highest rushing average ever by any NFL running back against the Cowboys (minimum of 50 carries)? Buck ran 74 times against the Cowboys for 420 yards, a 5.7 average. Next on that list is Mount Holly, New Jersey, native and Hall of Famer Franco Harris at 5.4. 

Invading their house 

Did you know the Eagles are the winningest team at AT&T Stadium? Since it opened in 2009, among teams that have played at least five games there, the Eagles have the highest winning percentage at .600 (6-4 record). The Cowboys are second .543 (44-37). So the Eagles have a higher winning percentage than the Cowboys in the Cowboys’ own stadium! 

A unique distinction

Did you know that the Eagles are the only team in the last 80 years with two fumble recovery TDs of at least 70 yards in the same game? Chris Clemons and Joselio Hanson had fumble return touchdowns of 73 and 96 yards in the Eagles’ 44-6 win over the Cowboys on the final day of the 2008 regular season — a win that propelled the Eagles into the playoffs. The only other NFL team with two 70-yard fumble return TDs in the same game was the Eagles against the Giants in 1938 at Municipal Stadium (JFK), when Joe Carter had a 92-yard TD and Bob Pylman an 88-yarder.

Lito ... Whoa-oh-oh-oh

Did you know the Eagles’ two longest defensive plays against the Cowboys were both turned in by cornerback Lito Sheppard? He picked off Vinny Testaverde in 2004 and returned it 101 yards, then picked off Drew Bledsoe in 2006 and returned it 102 yards. Sheppard is the only player in NFL history with two 100-yard INT returns against the same team.

One-sided rivalry 

Did you know the Eagles were 3-24 against the Cowboys in the 27 head-to-head matchups leading up to the 1980 NFC Championship Game?

Hall of fame connection 

Did you know the first Eagle to score a touchdown against the Cowboys was Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald on a 16-yard pass from another Hall of Famer, Norm Van Brocklin? The Eagles hung on to win that game, 27-25, at the Cotton Bowl on Sept. 30, 1960 — a Friday. And although the score was close, the Eagles went on to win the NFL Championship and the Cowboys finished winless. It was the last Friday game the Eagles played and the only one they ever won in four tries.

Demarco vs. his former team 

Did you know the worst rushing performance in Eagles history came against the Cowboys? By a former Cowboy? On Sept. 20, 2015, DeMarco Murray — in his second game after leaving the Cowboys — ran 13 times for two yards for the Eagles against his former team. His average of 5.5 inches per carry is lowest ever by an Eagle in a game with more than 10 carries.

A Pro Bowler for both teams 

Did you know Terrell Owens is the only player ever to make a Pro Bowl for both the Eagles and Cowboys? He was a Pro Bowler for the Eagles in 2004 and the Cowboys in 2007.

Historical upset 

Did you know the Eagles’ biggest upset over the Cowboys actually happened twice? The Cowboys were 10-point favorites in 1979 in Dallas but the Eagles won 31-21 behind 127 rushing yards from Wilbert Montgomery and two Ron Jaworski TD passes to Harold Carmichael. The Eagles also won 10-6 late in the 2007 season, also in Dallas, as 10-point underdogs, ending the Cowboys’ seven-game winning streak. Brian Westbrook had a big game (81 yards rushing, 63 receiving), Donovan McNabb and Reggie Brown connected on the game’s only TD, and Quintin Mikell, Brian Dawkins and Sheppard all picked off Tony Romo.

Tom Landry's final game 

Did you know Hall of Famer Tom Landry’s 418th and final game as a head coach was against the Eagles? It was Dec. 18, 1988, at Texas Stadium, and the Eagles won 23-7. A few minutes after finishing off the Cowboys, they clinched the NFC East when the Jets upset the Giants in East Rutherford. Long after the game was over, ending Landry’s historic 29-year run as Cowboys head coach, he ran into two Philly writers and said simply, “Merry Christmas, guys.” Class act!

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Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Off the field issues aside, Ezekiel Elliott is clearly one of the top running backs in the NFL. The problem for the Cowboys is that he wants to get paid like it.

According to PFT’s Mike Florio, Elliott has “privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.”

Since the Cowboys report to training camp on July 25, this could be a problem very soon.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! reporter Charles Robinson says Elliott hasn’t made a decision about a holdout yet.

But it’s clearly on Zeke’s mind. And he clearly wants a contract extension.

For a team that still has to pay Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper — both more pressing since they’ll be free agents after the 2019 season — this could be tricky. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys giving Zeke a big contract before figuring out Dak’s new deal.

Elliott, 23, might have a problem staying out of trouble off the field, but he creates a whole lot of trouble for opposing teams on it. There’s really no denying his talent. In his first three NFL seasons, he has rushed for over 4,000 yards and has over 5,000 in all-purpose yards. Just 11 players in NFL history have more all-purpose yards in their first three seasons.

And because of that success and because he knows the Cowboys will rely heavily on him this season and next, Elliott is trying to maximize his value. He’s trying to get some coin in his pocket now before that value potentially plummets because usage or injury. That part makes sense.

The problem for Elliott is that the Cowboys probably don’t feel highly motivated to pay him just yet. With his fourth contract year in 2019 and his fifth-year option year in 2020, the Cowboys hold his rights for the next two seasons at cap numbers of $7.9 million and $9 million over the next two seasons. Based on his rookie contract AVY, Elliott is the 10th highest-paid running back in football. That’s a steal and based on recent history, no team should be rushing to pay top-tier money for a running back.

Elliott won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season, so I definitely get why he’s trying to secure his financial future before the Boys run him into the ground over the next two seasons. He doesn’t seem to have a ton of leverage because of how far he is from free agency — he’s not going to sit for two years — but we saw how his suspension sort of wrecked the Cowboys’ entire 2017 season. Now, the Cowboys are coming off a division title and have serious championship hopes this year; if they’re going to be a great team, they’re going to need Zeke to do it.

The Eagles don’t play the Cowboys until Oct. 20 and it would be pretty shocking if Elliott isn’t playing by then. The Birds obviously don’t have a running back as good as Elliott, but they have cost controlled options and they already figured out how to pay their franchise quarterback.

The messier this gets for Zeke and the Cowboys, the better it is for the Eagles and the rest of the NFC East.

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Eagles receive top Madden 20 team rating despite Carson Wentz snub

Eagles receive top Madden 20 team rating despite Carson Wentz snub

It’s that time of year again. 

Today, the good people of Madden released their full rankings for Madden 20, available on Aug. 2. Here are some notable items from how they see they see the Eagles looking this year.

The Best Team in the Game

That’s right, Madden believes in the Eagles. With an overall rating of 89, the Philadelphia Eagles are the highest rated team in the game. They edged out the Dallas Cowboys (88), New Orleans Saints (87), New England Patriots (87) and Green Bay Packers (87).

The lowest ranked teams in the game are the Miami Dolphins (74), followed by the New York Giants (77).

Carson Wentz Snubbed in Madden 20

Carson Wentz will begin the season as an 82 overall, dipping three points from where he was to start the year last season. The rating places Wentz tied for 13th at his position behind guys like Baker Mayfield (83) and Jared Goff (83) and tied with Deshaun Watson (82). After an incredible season last year, Patrick Mahomes (97) is the top-rated QB, followed by the ageless wonder, Tom Brady (96).

The Top Bird

It should come as no surprise that Fletcher Cox is the highest ranked Eagles player at an overall ranking of 96. His ranking makes him the 15th highest ranked player in the NFL and the top defensive tackle (Madden considers Aaron Donald an end). His combination of speed, acceleration and strength make him an unstoppable force in both the video game and in real life.

These Birds Can Fly

One of the more important aspects in Madden often times is speed and the Eagles have 13 players with a rating of 90 or higher in that category. Five players, Ronald Darby, Shelton Gibson, Josh Hawkins, DeSean Jackson and Avonte Maddox, are tied for the highest speed rating on the team at 93.

According to Madden, the fastest player in the NFL is Tyreek hill, with 99 speed and 99 acceleration, the only player with a 99 in either category.

Top of their Class

There’s a number of Eagles players that are ranked very highly at their position. 

Fletcher Cox: 96, 1st among DT

Jason Kelce: 94, tied for 1st among C

Zach Ertz: 93, 2nd among TE

Malcolm Jenkins: 92, 2nd among SS

Brandon Brooks: 90, 4th among RG

Brandon Graham: 89, 3rd among RE

Lane Johnson: 89, 2nd among RT

Lowest Rated Eagle

Sorry Rick Lovato, for the second straight year you’re the lowest rated Eagles player. Actually, Lovato’s ranking lowered from a 43 in 2019 to a 41 in 2020. Lovato, the long snapper, certainly didn’t do anything wrong from a snapping standpoint last season, but he’s listed as a TE in the game and they probably want to make him as unusable at that position as possible. 

Other notable Eagles that received poor ratings are Clayton Thorson (56), Nate Sudfeld (57) and Jordan Mailata (58). 

Click here to see the Madden ranking for the entire Eagles roster.

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