The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for the 2023 season, but one Hall of Famer wants the team’s fans to think differently about the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles are clashing with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, marking the NFC East franchise’s second trip to the contest in the past six seasons. For Pro Football Hall of Famer and Cowboys icon Emmitt Smith, he has nothing but respect for Philly and, more specifically, quarterback Jalen Hurts.
In an interview with NBC, Smith spoke candidly about the former Oklahoma and Alabama star quarterback.
“I love him. He’s a proven champion,” Smith explained. “They have a great chance of winning (against the Chiefs) and he is the reason why they will win.”
When asked a follow-up question on how Cowboys fans might feel about his complimentary words toward Hurts, Smith dropped a blunt response.
“Can’t say nothing,” Emmitt said. “Can’t say nothing. Keep your mouth closed.”
For a rivalry as storied and intense as the Cowboys-Eagles conflict is, Smith’s comments may come off as a surprise. However, there are few players in NFL history with the success and experiences Smith has to his name.
Dak Prescott Picks Against Philadelphia
Smith may be riding with the Eagles, but Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott can’t bring himself to root for Philadelphia, despite having some connection to some of the franchise’s members.
“I got a few college teammates, even a college coach that’s over in Philly. But I don’t know if I can root for an NFC East team to win,” Prescott said, as Heavy’s J.R. DeGroote recently covered. “So unfortunately for those guys I care about — I hope they have a great game — I’m going with the AFC to win this one.”
Prescott is referring to Eagles corner Darius Slay and defensive end Fletcher Cox, two stars who make up key parts of the Philadelphia defense. It’s a tough spot for Prescott to show support for his former teammates but also stay true to his loyalty to Dallas.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys QB has had an eventful Super Bowl week as he was named the winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Prescott became the fourth Cowboys player to win the award, alongside former players Roger Staubach (1978,) Troy Aikman (1997,) and Jason Witten (2012).
Cowboys and Eagles Split in 2022
With the Eagles winning the NFC East and the NFC Championship, there’s no question of who had the more successful season between Philadelphia and the Cowboys. That being said, Dallas can hold to the fact that they split contests with their rivals.
But what makes the 2022 clashes between the Eagles and the Cowboys is that both teams were missing their starting quarterbacks for one contest. In Dallas’ loss in Week 6, Prescott was recovering from a thumb injury and Hurts started. When Dallas beat Philly in Week 16, Hurts was recovering and Prescott was back in the saddle.
Considering the two teams went a combined 26-8 over the course of the regular season, the nature of the teams’ two divisional battles is a bit bizarre. Neither fan bases nor the neutral viewer got to see the NFC East rivals square off at full strength.