Jason Peters watched the NFC divisional playoff game with his family in Texas. He was not happy to be watching it because he felt the Eagles were good enough to be playing in the game at Green Bay. The veteran offensive tackle was still not over the fact that his team had let a 9-3 start dissolve into a disastrous ending that included three straight losses to Seattle, Dallas, and Washington.
"I felt like if we had made the playoffs we could have contended for the ring," Peters said last week after a long and hot Eagles workout. "We let the Cowboys beat us, man, and they almost went and [expletive deleted] won the Super Bowl. That play with Dez Bryant, they win that game and it's up in the air what they do next."
Asked for his opinion about the controversial incompletion involving Bryant late in Dallas' loss to the Packers, Peters said he thought it should have been ruled a catch. He was pleased it was not.
"I say it was a catch, but I was rooting against them, so I was glad they said it was no catch," said Peters, who was born in Queen City, Texas. "All my family is Cowboys fans. They're always rooting for them and I'm the only one rooting against them."
Peters and Dallas owner Jerry Jones are both products of the University of Arkansas, but only one of them was an offensive lineman for the Razorbacks and it was not the giant of a man who has been to seven Pro Bowls. Peters, a defensive lineman and tight end who caught four touchdown passes at Arkansas, said he has had conversations with Jones, but he does not think the Cowboys' owner understands how much he despises Dallas.
"I don't think he does," Peters said. "He should. When we play on Sunday, I'm not trying to be nice to him."
In the six seasons since Peters arrived in Philadelphia from Buffalo in what might have been the best trade in franchise history, the Eagles and Cowboys have each won a couple of NFC East titles. The Cowboys rebounded from a lopsided Thanksgiving loss at home to the Eagles to win the division last year after the Eagles won it the previous year.
Peters did not enjoy hearing about how the Cowboys had the best offensive line in the NFL last season.
"They're the Cowboys," Peters said. "Everything they do is pumped up. It's America's Team. Everything they do is overemphasized. When Shady [LeSean McCoy] was the leading rusher, they weren't saying we were the best offensive line. Don't get me wrong, they're a good, solid offensive line. But guy for guy, they can't touch us."
That point is debatable, especially after coach Chip Kelly released two-time Pro Bowler Evan Mathis last week. It cannot be argued, however, that Peters has been one of the best left tackles in the league during an 11-year career that started with his signing as an undrafted free agent with the Bills.
His five Pro Bowls with the Eagles are already more than any offensive lineman in franchise history. And when you consider that he has made the last two after missing the entire 2012 season because of two separate surgeries to repair a torn right Achilles tendon, that makes him a medical miracle.
"When I hurt it, I asked the doctor to be truthful to me," Peters said.
The doctor's prognosis was that Peters would be about 80 percent upon his return. That number was downgraded to 65 to 70 percent after he tore the surgically repaired tendon a second time in the same offseason.
"I've always been a guy who tries to prove people wrong," Peters said. "I came back a hundred percent - a hundred and ten. [The doctor] couldn't believe it when I went back to do the checkup after I played [in 2013]. He said, 'Man, I've never seen nothing like it.' "
With Mathis and fellow veteran Todd Herremans both gone now, the challenge will be greater than ever for Peters. It has been suggested that Peters' play slipped some in 2014, particularly in the stretch run when he allowed a total of four sacks in games against the Cowboys and New York Giants.
Pro Football Focus still graded him as the best left tackle in the NFL and the fourth best at protecting the quarterback. More important, Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland still sees Peters as a stud with a lot of NFL life left in his 33-year-old body.
"People are going to think I'm crazy, but I think he's got years left," Stoutland said. "There are no signs of him deteriorating in my eyes. He's got the best balance of anybody I've ever coached. You can't knock him out of balance and try to go around him. It just doesn't happen."
Peters already has a Hall of Fame resumé, but he does not have a single playoff victory and that's the driving force behind why he keeps playing.
"It always means a lot to end the year on a high note when you're voted to the Pro Bowl," he said. "But I'd rather go to the Super Bowl any day. It's all about getting in the playoffs and fighting for a ring instead of going home."
Especially when home means you're watching a playoff game in a room filled with Cowboys fans.