From the minute the Eagles’ schedule came out a few months ago, there has been one day circled in the figurativesports calendars of all Philadelphia sports fans: Eagles and Cowboys, Thanksgiving day.
And not surprisingly, the players themselves can’t wait to take the field under the watchful eye of full-bellied Americans stuffed with turkey and eager to watch America’s game.
“I’ve seen it played on Thanksgiving before,” Mark Sanchez said after the Eagles’ blowout Week 12 win. “I know it’s a big-time rivalry. We’re in the third quarter and people are screaming about the Dallas game while this game is still going on. But I’ll get into it throughout this next week.”
It was almost as if the Eagles (and their fans) were happy not to just have won Sunday to improve to 8-3 on the year, but also to be able to focus on the game that really matters, the battle for first place in the NFC East.
“I’m really excited man,” Fletcher Cox said. “Looking forward to playing these guys. We are ready to roll, we are ready for Thursday.”
But for the coaching staff, it wasn’t quite all hype and excitement.
Chip Kelly and his assistants spent a portion of Sunday looking ahead to Thursday, even before the Birds took the field against the Titans. And then, as soon as Kelly and company fulfilled their media obligations, they went right back to it — getting ready for Dallas.
“As a staff we just came back here right after the game and just started game planning on all three phases for Dallas and kind of what they did,” Kelly told the press Monday morning. “Then obviously got the last game in — we didn’t get the coaches’ copy until early this morning, but we had to get most of our plan in place last night.”
The Birds hope they can feast on Dallas before they feast with their families after the game.
“I’ve never played on Thanksgiving before,” Brandon Graham said.”This is a big prime-time game and everybody is going to be eating turkey, so hopefully we can eat some turkey with a smile after the game.”