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Where does the Dallas Cowboys - Philadelphia Eagles team rivalry come from?

The Dallas Cowboys-Philadephia Eagles rivalry is considered as one of the most bitter in the NFL. Here’s a look at how the competition between the two came about.

The Dallas Cowboys-Philadephia Eagles rivalry is considered as one of the most bitter in the NFL. Here’s a look at how the competition between the two came about.
Stephen LewUSA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the higher-profile rivalries in the NFL, and the competition between them has been ranked number one overall in the league a couple of times.

Both teams compete in the NFC East, and have found themselves battling for the top spot in the division.

Eagles fans are notoriously some of the most rabid, and though they are hostile to fans of other teams, they are particularly vitriolic against Cowboys supporters. One of the top cheers of Philadelphia fans is said to be “Dallas sucks.”

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The rivalry begins

The two teams first met on the football field on September 30, 1960 when the Cowboys joined the NFL West division as an expansion team, and they played against each other only once.

Then Dallas moved to the East division the following year and they started to face off two times each season. Since the teams started playing in the same division, the Cowboys have won several Super Bowls, leaving the Eagles with much less to celebrate.

Philadelphia was initially the superior squad, but as the 60s drew on, Dallas became a force to reckon with. The Eagles ended the decade with a 10-9 lead in number of games won.

The rise of America's Team

During the 70s, the Cowboys rose in popularity, and the nickname “America’s Team” was born. The Eagles were needled by this, especially after finding itself with 17 losses and only three victories against the Cowboys. They lost to Dallas nine games in a row between 1974 and 1978.

One highlight of this rivalry was the 1989 Bounty Bowls, two games that were so-called because of accusations by the Cowboys coaching staff that Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan had offered to pay a bounty to team members who would injure Dallas players.

In the second game, Philadelphia fans threw snowballs and other items, targeting and hitting participants on the field. The Eagles won both of these matchups. The presence of Ryan solidified the rivalry in the 80s, which ended with an even 10-10 record.

'Dallas' vs. 'Rocky'

The competition between the two teams has been described as a result of a stark contrast evident between the wealthy people one can see on the TV series “Dallas” and the tougher people in Philadelphia represented by Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky”.

The Cowboys racked up five Super Bowl wins in the 20th century, but they have not made it to the NFC Championship playoffs in a quarter of a century. The Eagles on the other hand have seen more success in the new millennium, making it to the Super Bowl two times and emerging the champions once.

But in the games between the two teams through the decades, the Cowboys have undoubtedly taken the upper hand, winning 71 matches versus Philadelphia’s 54.


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