Now that they finally have their own Super Bowl championship, more and more Eagles players are willing to admit how much they despise the Cowboys.
Even the most diplomatic of the Eagles didn't bother to hide his disdain of both the franchise and the sycophantic culture it creates.
"I prefer a city like Philadelphia, where, you know, not everybody's looking for you," said safety Malcolm Jenkins. "It's not about the glitz and glamour. It's about rolling up your sleeves, fighting, and earning everything you get."
It's Dallas Week.
The Eagles resume their Super Bowl title defense when the moribund Cowboys visit Sunday night, though you'd hardly know it. Throughout the region, there will be little of the old-fashioned hatred this game typically generates.
Maybe that's because the Eagles finally won a Super Bowl, after 51 consecutive failures (while forced to watch the Cowboys win five, including three under irrepressible owner Jerry Jones).
Maybe it's because the Cowboys haven't won a Lombardi Trophy in 23 years — six days after Ezekiel Elliott turned 6 months old, to be precise.
But, like real-life Cowboys, arrogance dies hard. The Lone Star faithful who annoy Jason Peters when he goes home to Queen City, Texas, have long memories and little grace.
"They were saying it was luck," Peters said. "They're not having [luck] down there!"
Peters, 36, is the oldest Eagle, but the origins of the rivalry predate him by more than 15 years.
He wasn't around in 1967, when Lee Roy Jordan clobbered Eagles star Timmy Brown with a cheap-shot elbow that broke Brown's jaw and knocked out several teeth. Peters does, however, know about the 1987 strike season, when Tom Landry's scabs ran up the score against Buddy Ryan's replacement players. And everybody has heard of "Bounty Bowl" in 1989, when Jimmy Johnson accused Ryan of placing bounties on Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas.
"It goes way back. Way back. Probably our No. 1 rivalry," said Peters.
He grew up about 200 miles west of the Big D, but that has no bearing on his current allegiance.
"Of course, I don't like the Cowboys," said Peters, who claims to be a longtime Buffalo Bills fan. "It's just the arrogance. The organization. 'America's Team.' Right now, they're not winning. Let's see how many people jump off their bandwagon."
Jason Kelce agreed.
"I would say mostly, I just don't think a lot of players — in particular, me — just don't really like the franchise, the organization, what it stands for — what it's always stood for," Kelce told 94.1 WIP radio Wednesday. "I've just never really appreciated what the organization and what its fans really stood for: a lot of fair-weather people from across the country that just kind of fell in love because they're winners, instead of having any type of emotional connection to the team whatsoever."
The Eagles, both fans and players, have plenty of emotional connection to the rivalry. Jenkins said that the Eagles' video staff usually edits some of the rivalry's biggest moments into the weekly film study.
It always revs him up.
"Especially the night before the game," Jenkins said. "It's a reminder: This game is to be respected. There's a lot of history behind it. Players who've been here before us. Coaches who've been here before us. The long history of [contention] between their fans and our fans. The differences between their team and their city and our team and our city, and what we represent."
How much does this game mean to these players?
Right tackle Lane Johnson, only 10 mornings removed from tearing his MCL, battled through one-on-one drills with a bulky brace on his right knee. Asked later whether he would play this weekend. Johnson told philly.com, "Good chance."
Coincidentally, the Eagles play the Cowboys. Coincidentally, Johnson's hometown is Groveton, Texas, 200 miles southeast of Cowboy Stadium. Johnson says he was a Packers fan growing up. Packers fans despise the Cowboys, too.
On second thought, maybe these aren't coincidences.