If the Eagles lose Sunday their 0-2 record will have them two games back in the NFC East right off the bat. It’s a no brainer, this game means a lot.
But does it mean any more than any other game? Conventional wisdom says yes — it is DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin’s old team afterall. And it’s against the team from Sam Bradford’s old stomping grounds. It’s also arguably the team’s biggest rival.
But this is a Chip Kelly team, and the temperament of the players following their first practice since their 26-24 loss in their opener says differently. Even if it is the home opener.
“They beat us on our field and we beat them on their field (last year),” Kelly said.”We hope we can beat them this time on our field. Every game is a must win, so it’s not added motivation. We have to go play a really good Dallas team, whether it’s in Dallas or here it’s a good football team.”
For Murray, who led the NFL in rushing in 2014 with over 1,800 yards, it’s really no big deal. But then again, nothing really is for such an even-keeled guy.
“I think DeMarco is a very grounded individual,” Kelly said,”He’s consistent in his approach every day that he’s here.He’s not an up and down guy. He’s been fine. I haven’t seen any change in him because it’s Dallas week and he played for Dallas.”
“You just approach it like any other week,” Murray said.”We had a disappointing loss last week but we will learn from it and move on. We have a big challenge coming up.”
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Zach Ertz, a pretty grounded guy himself, does see the added significance of the task at hand.
“Growing up, you kind of grasp it if you watch the NFL at all that the Eagles and Cowboys are always going to be good and it’s gonna be a good game,” Ertz said.
Sam Bradford is getting the sense that it’s a big deal too.
“I think I am learning quickly that there is not a lot of love lost between the two sides,” the quarterback said.”On our first or second practice they had that banner over the stadium, this is a big game for both teams.”
Bradford grew up in Oklahoma, surrounded by Cowboys fans. But surprisingly, he wasn’t a big fan of the team as a kid.
“I was actually a little more of a Steelers fan growing up,” Bradford recalled.”I was kind ofwierd. I collected football cards, I had a million Jerome Bettis and Kordell Stewart cards.
“I would say most of my friends back home were Cowboys fans… but they’ve all converted to Eagles fans.”