Eagles-Cowboys Week: Nick Sirianni Stokes NFC East Rivalry Flames

Nick Sirianni

Getty Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has taken an extra cautious approach with playing his starters this preseason.

The first thing Nick Sirianni did to start Dallas Week was hand out “Beat Dallas” t-shirts to everyone in the Philadelphia Eagles’ locker room. Then the first-year head coach sat the team down in the auditorium and turned on a tape of arguably the most vicious rivalry in the NFL.

That included 40 years of Eagles-Cowboys highlights. Sirianni seems to get what beating the Cowboys means to the City of Brotherly Love. He also understands that his tactics may elicit negative reaction in Dallas. It might even lead to motivational bulletin board material.

“Yeah, I’m sure they’re going to have the picture of this shirt on there. And that’s fine. This is about a great rivalry. And that means a lot to this city, that means a lot to our building,” Sirianni told reporters. “And it’s a division game. And with the rivalry and it being a division game, I don’t know if anyone needs – our side, their side – needs any more bulletin board material or if it’s even going to help because we know how big the rivalry is and how much it means to both sides.”

Ask the players and it’s all positive. Starting right tackle Lane Johnson applauded the move, although he was a little fuzzy on what the shirt actually said. Was it Beat Dallas or Dallas Sucks? He jokingly blamed the confusion on CTE, OR Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy due to repeated concussions.

“Everyone got one,” Johnson said of the shirts. “Pretty sure it says Dallas Sucks on there. Beat Dallas or Dallas Sucks? It’s one of them, I can’t remember. We don’t know. Everybody has CTE.”

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Cowboys Respond to ‘Beat Dallas’ Shirts

The news of Sirianni’s wardrobe quickly trickled down to Texas where Cowboys players didn’t seem to care. Running back Ezekiel Elliott said “we stay in our lane” when asked about the “Beat Dallas” shirt. And cornerback Trevon Diggs added that he doesn’t pay attention to that stuff.

“Nothing for real. I really don’t try and pay attention to outside factors, outside of our organization,” Diggs told reporters, via ESPN. “I just focus on what we’re focusing on … so it don’t bother me.”

Miles Sanders Lands on Injury Report

The Eagles released their first injury report of the week on Thursday (Sept. 23) and one name to keep an eye on is Miles Sanders. The feature back was listed as a “limited participant” with a chest injury. This was the first time anyone heard of any setback for Sanders.

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and center Jason Kelce were given veteran rest days off. However, Cox carried an “illness” designation and Kelce had a “foot” issue listed. Neither appears to be cause for alarm, yet it’s something else that bears monitoring moving forward.

Meanwhile, safety Rodney McLeod seems like a stretch to play in Week 3 against Dallas. Sirianni also confirmed that rookie Landon Dickerson would draw the start at right guard over Nate Herbig.

“You know, it’s going to be Landon,” Sirianni told reporters. “But Nate’s got to be ready just like he was last week. To be ready to go in, if anything else happens.”


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