After Carson Wentz went full 2017 on the Washington Redskins in the second half on Sunday afternoon, I was riding high. The Eagles' offense should've been rightfully feeling themselves a bit. They only scored 32 or more points twice last season and have already accomplished that feat in Week 1. DeSean Jackson looked like the DeSean of my teenage years. Wentz evaded pressure in the pocket like the savior this city's been anointing him for the last three years.
After returning home following a phenomenal day in the Jetro Lot and the top level of The Linc, I saw the Cowboys playing the Giants on television. That's typically one of those games where if someone asks me who I want to win, I'll reply, "Bane." But with the Cowboys standing as the clearcut main challenger for NFC East supremacy with the Eagles, I was obviously pulling for a New York upset.
That did not happen.
Dak Prescott looked like 2007 Tom Brady, throwing for over 400 yards and tossing four touchdowns. After connecting with Amari Cooper for a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter of the Cowboys' eventual 35-17 win, Dak and Amari had this interaction on the sideline:
Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper after throwing him a touchdown against the Giants: Hey, was that easier than Philly?
Amari Cooper had 217 yards and 3 touchdowns (including the game-winner) when Dallas hosted the Eagles last season.
(via @dallascowboys) pic.twitter.com/fQsZvPab2n— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 10, 2019
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Prescott: "Hey, was that easier than Philly?"
Cooper: "Easy money, baby."
Prescott: "That was easier than Philly?"
Cooper: "Easy money."
I'm pacing around my apartment.
I hate that he said that, but the twisted, diseased Eagles fan part of me absolutely loves it. It gets me counting down the days and hours until the two teams square off in the disgusting albatross that is AT&T Stadium on Sunday Night Football (right here on NBC!) on October 20. This makes my blood boil, but my adrenaline is through the roof. I'm about to wake up at 5 a.m. tomorrow and run wind sprints down Wolf Street just thinking about this.
Schadenfreude is the basis of being caught in a bloody, deranged sports rivalry. I want the Cowboys to lose as much as I want the Eagles to win. It's like one of those Wildwood boardwalk t-shirts that says, "I root for two teams: the Eagles and whoever is playing the Cowboys." When I was watching Dallas lay down the smack against the Giants, I was hoping that the Giants would just score some points late so that it would hurt the Cowboys' Defensive DVOA and maybe drop them a couple spots on some random blog's power rankings. It's insane, yet I would have it no other way!
Philadelphians like to think that if they were on the Eagles, they would play for free and give 200 percent in every practice rep in the middle of training camp, which is all just nonsense and completely false. They would also take every matchup against an NFC East team as a life-or-death situation, which, to those Eagles fans watching at home and crawling on all fours on the carpet while Dallas is putting a late-game drive together, it truly feels like. I'm not expecting Fletcher Cox to be so miserable after a Cowboys loss that he neglects his friends, family and all responsibilities in life (I'm not going to name any names), but when guys on the Birds see a player of Presott's caliber calling their team out, I know it hits them in the gut.
I don't want this to just be a rivalry for the fans and for the talking heads. I want it to truly mean something to the players too. I want Brandon Graham to have Dak's words in his head as he's buckling up his shoulder pads before Sunday Night Football. I want Wentz to be thinking of all the haters and losers (of which, sadly, there are many) who think Prescott is better than him as he gets ready to carve up that Dallas defense like he did in prime time back in 2017.
It feels like Batman and the Joker sometimes. The Joker never really wants to kill Batman. He feeds off Batman's livelihood. The Joker loves the dance and the theatrics of it all. He's nothing if he doesn't have this constant object he can focus his madness upon. Unfortunately, I'm definitely the Joker in this comparison. My hatred for the Cowboys flows through my soul and I wear it on my sleeves. I love the online trolling. I take pride when some Cowboys blog blocks me on Twitter. Maybe I'll finally get a "Dallas Sucks" tattoo this year. Who knows!
"We're destined to do this forever," as Joker tells Batman upon his capture in The Dark Knight. That's how I view Dallas. I love that Dak fuels my fire because some men just want to watch AT&T Stadium burn.
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