It was an innocent declaration of faith in his own team, but Doug Pederson’s promise of a win at Dallas on Sunday night has become a war cry for the struggling Cowboys.
Asked if Pederson’s comments bothered him, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence replied:
“He’s got to come here. Tell him, ‘Come on! Come on.’ We ready. Can he play the game?"
The two-time Pro Bowler (2017-18) was just warming up.
“He might want to shut his ass up and stay on the sideline,” he said. “He can’t play the game for them. The Eagles got to come play us. He’s got to sit on the sideline and do what he wants to do. He can’t play the game for them. So we’ll see.”
During his regular Monday radio appearance, Pederson told WIP-FM, “We’re going down to Dallas, and our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we’re gonna win that football game, and when we do, we’re in first place in the NFC East.”
The Eagles will visit the Cowboys on Sunday night with first place in the NFC East on the line. Both teams are 3-3.
Have Pederson’s words been a topic of conversation in the Cowboys’ locker room this week?
“We don’t care about anything nobody says, really. Our main focus is on us,” Lawrence said.
Well, sort of.
While head coach Jason Garrett and most of his star players have demurred from any sort of response, Lawrence is the second defensive lineman to voice displeasure with Pederson’s proclamation. Antwaun Woods on Wednesday said that Pederson wasn’t going to “put the hand in the dirt” on Sunday night, so whatever Pederson said didn’t matter.
Lawrence was asked later if the Cowboys’ three-game losing streak added urgency to the coming game. Clearly, his mind had never left Pederson.
“We don’t have to worry about it this week," he said. "Doug Pederson already called us out. Ya’ll know what it is.