The Philadelphia Eagles can’t keep their mouths shut.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson tried to downplay his linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill calling the Dallas Cowboys chokers in a video Wednesday. Before the Cowboys’ played the Eagles in Philly on Nov. 11 center Jason Kelce popped off about how much he disliked the Dallas franchise.
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“Look at Dallas’ history. They always choke,” Grugier-Hill gleefully said to television cameras. “So we’ll go down there and make them choke.”
Pederson, speaking to Dallas reporters on a teleconference call Thursday morning, was hard-pressed to explain the comments before the teams meet again at 3:25 p.m. Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
“It’s unfortunate … one guy … I think it’s already bulletin board material so we’re well past that,” Pederson said. “I have a ton of respect for Jason Garrett and the Dallas organization.”
Cowboys players basically rolled their eyes when asked about Grugier-Hill’s comments.
“Ah, man. That’s crazy,” Linebacker Jaylon Smith said. “But that’s a rival game though. You’ve got guys who talk a lot, so when the lights turn on we’re prepared. We just have to focus on us.”
Pederson played up the rivalry aspect of the NFC East showdown with first place in the division on the line.
“This has always been a great rivalry. I’ve played in this game before as a player so I know what it’s all about,” he said. “Just like probably every coach in America, high school, college and pro. I talked to the guys every single day about things like that. Sometimes it happens, it’s unfortunate.”
The game is already huge, Pederson said, so any bulletin board material is probably overkill.
“I don’t really believe you have to do that. These games are big enough. There’s enough pressure, enough angst to win the game, to do your job,” he said. “With the amount of media attention that everybody gets and social media, it’s a firestorm and players are going to see it. I’ve never had to [use bulletin board material] and I wouldn’t expect Coach [Jason] Garrett would have to do that because the players are going to see it and formulate their own opinions.”