Doug Pederson talked the talk during the week, but it was the Dallas Cowboys who walked the walk on Sunday.
The Cowboys responded to Pederson’s victory guarantee with their finest effort of the season, a 37-10 blowout of the Philadelphia Eagles on national television — a matchup that was essentially decided in the opening minutes.
Unlike the last three games, Dallas employed a dominant brand of football, imposing their will on offense, defense and special teams. Coaches and players alike. This was the effort expected from a legitimate Super Bowl contender who began the season 3-0 before running into their losing skid.
If Pederson’s mouth wrote a check, it bounced. He described it as a top-two loss in his career, a humiliating outing that bumped Dallas to sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Remove check, insert foot.
And here’s his parting gift from AT&T Stadium: A final (for now) twist of the proverbial knife, courtesy of outspoken Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
“It’s over. I feel like he got a statement today. So we going to let them go sleep on it,” he said, via SB Nation’s RJ Ochoa.
He wasn’t done there, though, as Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News revealed Lawrence had one additional shot to fire at the Eagles coach.
“I told him to shut up, didn’t I? Alright so what you think he doing now?” Lawrence stated, per Watkins.
Surprisingly, this was a restrained Lawrence, nothing like the Tank who just two days ago leveled Philly’s head man with a message that bordered on threatening.
“Tell him to come on. We ready,” Lawrence said, via ESPN. “Can he play the game? So he might want to shut his ass up and stay on the sideline. He can’t play the game for them. The Eagles got to play them and he’s supposed to sit on the sideline and do whatever he wants to do. But he can’t play the game for them so we’ll see.”
The old adage about catching flies with honey as opposed to vinegar seems to apply. Lawrence — who totaled four tackles, one sack, a tackle-for-loss and quarterback hit — knows it’s more satisfying to let the Eagles stew in their embarrassment rather than rub their noses in it.
The absence of smack-talk speaks loudest tonight.
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Stephen Jones Makes Interesting Comment on Win
For nearly a month, the Cowboys’ vice president faced questions relating to the team’s future and, particularly, the status of walk-year head coach Jason Garrett, whom Jones repeatedly claimed was not on the hot seat.
After the Eagles game, Jones was asked by NFL Network’s Jane Slater how he feels, the Cowboys piecing together a victory that may have saved their season (and Garrett’s job).
“Lot better now,” he responded with a “huge smile,” per Slater.
It’s unclear whether Jones is simply happy with his club’s resounding conquest or relieved he won’t have to pull the plug on Garrett, or answer requisite questions about that potential process, at least.
Maher Sets Cowboys Record [WATCH]
Brett Maher is the type of kicker who misses chip shots as often as he drills inconceivable attempts. The latter was on display against Philadelphia when the Cowboys’ top special-teamer nailed a 63-yard attempt — a new franchise record — that would have been good from 70.
Maher’s historic boot comes one week after he tied a personal record by successfully putting through a 62-yard attempt in Dallas’ loss to the New York Jets. Maher accounted for the team’s scoring in the first half of that Week 6 road contest, converting 50- and 62-yard field goals, the latter of which similarly occurred as the second quarter expired.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL