"I don't know what a tweet is," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, "but that was a bad tweet."

Indeed, DeSean Jackson's trash-talking entry on Twitter, in which he proclaimed that the Eagles would "sting they ass" before last season's playoff game at Dallas, stung only the brash receiver and his team.

The Eagles were swarmed by the Cowboys, 34-14, six days after the same team had shut them out. And Jackson was held to a humbling three catches for 14 yards.

Jackson's tweet (DeSeanJackson10) and some of the bulletin-board material he provided the week before ultimately had little to do with the loss. The better team won. But with the Eagles scheduled to finally play Dallas again this Sunday night, Jackson was asked if the trash-talking and the fallout from it taught the budding star anything about the power of his words.

"It's a new day, it's a new life, and that's gone, so you learn from what you do and things like that," he said. "But I'm not going to make a big issue out of the Cowboys and myself. We've got to play them. They're on our schedule next."

If the Cowboys were looking for motivation from Jackson, they didn't get any from him on Thursday. Perhaps another Eagles employee can film himself spitting on the Dallas star.

Last season's experience against the Cowboys was a comeuppance for Jackson. In three meetings, he was held to just seven receptions for 79 yards and one touchdown.

The Cowboys shut down Jackson in other ways. He ran only once for 6 yards and returned a total of five punts for 27 yards. If he can learn from his verbal miscues from a year ago, how about his on-the-field mistakes?

"It's my third year and that was my second year," Jackson said. ". . . Every day I think I get more intelligent and everything like that. I try not to stay at one point. I always like to better myself."

Jackson's receiving numbers this season, however, are slightly down from a year ago. He has 38 catches for 762 yards and five touchdowns, compared to the 44 catches for 769 yards and six scores he compiled through 12 games last season.

There's also a contract cloud lingering over his head. Last week, Jackson acknowledged the situation - he would normally have had an extension at this point if it weren't for labor strife - but said it was not distracting him. His comments ran contrary to what a number of sources close to the receiver recently told The Inquirer.

"I'm definitely comfortable," Jackson reiterated Thursday. "Nothing changed."

There have been reports about Jackson's reluctance to run crossing routes since he suffered a concussion in October. He refused to field practice punts before the loss in Chicago and was reprimanded by Reid afterward for that and other reasons.

The turmoil comes during a stretch when Jackson is struggling. In the last three games, he has just 10 catches for 160 yards and no touchdowns. He and quarterback Michael Vick are looking to recapture some of the magic they found earlier in the season.

"He knows when he's open, he knows when he's covered," Vick said. "So when you've got guys like that, that are not selfish, it definitely makes it easy for the quarterback."

Last season, the combination of cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman corralled the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Jackson.

"Whatever they did last year it was a good job," Jackson said. "Give them all the credit, but it's a new year and it's a new game."

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745
Staff writer Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article.