Jalen Hurts grew up in Houston and for a long time there was no NFL franchise in that town. Needless to say, a lot of folks from that area were raised Dallas Cowboys fans. They cheered for “America’s Team,” a moniker bestowed upon them by a proud Philadelphian.
Not Hurts. The 23-year-old was born in 1998, one year before the Houston Texans were founded, and four years prior to the expansion franchise joining the NFL in 2002. His godfather worked for the Texans, too, so the young Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was a frequent guest at Texans practices as a child.
Hurts recalled chatting with players and coaches on the sideline. He also remembered what football Sundays looked like in his hometown. They would cook up food and watch the Houston Texans. Not the Dallas Cowboys.
“I did support the Texans,” Hurts told reporters on Thursday (Sept. 23). “Obviously my godfather was working there, and always being around the complex and that being my city and where I’m from, I supported the Texans. We always used to cook food on Sundays and watch the Texans play.”
Hurts will make his second start at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (the first one was a 37-17 loss last December) when the Eagles and Cowboys play on Sept. 27. If there were any butterflies about going (kind of close) to home, he wasn’t letting on.
“Going back home, going to play in Texas,” Hurts said when asked about the game. “We respect the rivalry and we know what it means to the fans so we want to go out there and do our best and get it done.”
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Jalen Reagor: ‘I’m Wearing Green Out There’
Jalen Reagor did cheer for the Cowboys growing up in Waxahachie, Texas, a town located about 30 miles from downtown Dallas. The second-year receiver garnered a lot of interest from the Cowboys during the pre-draft process in 2020 before going to the Eagles with the 21st overall pick.
Reagor made it clear from Day 1 that he would be “bleeding green” from now on. The 22-year-old told his friends back home that if Philly took him, that was it. He was no longer a Cowboys fan. He doubled down on that during his media availability on Thursday (Sept. 23) ahead of the Eagles-Cowboys game.
“Nah, it’s just the next game on the schedule,” Reagor told reporters. “I mean, I look at it like I’m here. I play for Philly so I’m not really too much worried about it being a homecoming for me because I’m going out there with green on. I’m going out there to get the job done. It’s always good going home but I got one goal in mind.”
Brian Dawkins Loved the Dallas Cowboys
Here’s something you probably never knew: Eagles legend Brian Dawkins grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. The Hall of Famer made the revelation in his new book “Blessed by the Best.” Dawkins admitted that the Philly faithful probably didn’t want to hear that, but he should get a pass once you hear why.
Here’s an excerpt from the book via the man himself:
I was a huge Dallas fan back in the day.
Yes. Growing up in Jacksonville in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, when I was in high school, we didn’t have an NFL team. Whatever team was on TV the most, that’s the one we picked. You had the Steelers and the 49ers. Buffalo. And the Cowboys. Remember that I wanted to be a Florida Gator. I loved the Gators. Loved them. And (Dallas running back) Emmitt Smith was a Gator. Loved Darren Woodson. So, I was a Cowboys fan. The funny thing about it was that his brother, Emory, was my roommate at Clemson for a year. So I had ties to the team.
I think we can all forgive him for that youthful mistake. Obviously he hates Dallas with a passion now.