Eagles coach Doug Pederson addressed on Thursday with the Dallas media the misguided (and factually inaccurate, given the five Lombardi Trophies in the lobby) comments of linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill about the Cowboys. On Friday, Pederson addressed the situation with the Philadelphia media.
Pederson said that he addressed with Grugier-Hill the boast that the Cowboys “always choke, so we’ll go down there and make them choke.”
“I just talked to him, pulled him aside, just talked to him,” Pederson said.
Pederson also described the comments with the same term he used when describing them to the Dallas media: Unfortunate.
“First of all, the Philadelphia Eagles, myself, we have a ton of respect for the Cowboys,” Pederson said. “It has nothing to do with that, we have a ton of respect for coach [Jason] Garrett. He and I actually were in the league together at the same time, so we played against each other when he was with Dallas and I was with Green Bay, so we go back a ways. It’s unfortunate that the comments were made. I talk to the team a lot about how we don’t need to post anything that can be used on other teams’ website or bulletin board. It’s unfortunate that happened. We still have to go play. They have to play. It’s going to be a good football game.”
The comments are unfortunate not simply because they disrespect the opponent, but because they can help keep the Cowboys from losing the intense focus that has carried them to four hard-fought wins under “must” win circumstances. Players who may have been tempted to relax or exhale after a month of battles that were both mentally and physically exhausting will be more likely to buckle down, fueled by a desire to make Grugier-Hill eat his words.