FRISCO, Texas – Yes, Dak Prescott said, “I’ve heard it.”
News of Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill’s latest bulletin board material did reach the Dallas Cowboys locker room three days before the division matchup.
“I mean, look at Dallas’ history,” Grugier-Hill said Wednesday. “They always choke. So we’ll go down there and make them choke.”
Sunday at AT&T Stadium, the defending Super Bowl champions will have their chance to back up those words.
Prescott was unfazed.
“Who?” he quipped first, when asked about the remark.
“You know, coach (Jason) Garrett has a great saying and I don’t know where he got it from,” Prescott followed up. “ ‘Winners worry about winning and losers worry about winners.’
“We’re focused on ourselves in this locker room and what we need to do to get better in each and every phase of this game to be ready for this week."
The talk isn’t anything new for the rivalry.
Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford said last month that “every single time I’ve played the Eagles, I’ve talked a lot of crap and just try to crack as many heads as I can.”
But until kickoff, Prescott said, “we’re not worried about he said-she said."
“That’s the reason they talk trash," Prescott said. "It brings clout, it brings attention. And if that’s what they want, good for them.”
The divisional and playoff stakes are high for Sunday. The Eagles’ two-game win streak sends them to Arlington at 6-6, while the Cowboys are at 7-5 after a four-game run. Dallas launched the streak Nov. 11 with a 27-20 win at Lincoln Financial Field behind 187 yards and two touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott. Rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch intercepted Carson Wentz in the game.
But this rivalry, unusually, has featured the road team prevailing in nine of the last 11 meetings. Neither team has swept the series since Dallas did so in 2012.
So the Cowboys stand ready.
“Oh man,” linebacker Jaylon Smith said of Grugier-Hill’s comments. “That’s crazy. That’s a rival game. You get guys that talk a lot.
“When the lights turn on, we’re prepared.”
Both coaches preached preparation on Thursday, with Garrett insisting the Cowboys “focus on ourselves” when asked about the jab, while Doug Pederson called the remark “unfortunate.'
“But I think it’s already bulletin-board material,” Pederson told Dallas reporters in a conference call. “So we’re well past that.”
The Cowboys made their own waves with one of their players' remarks last week, upsetting the then-10-1 New Orleans Saints after Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence said Drew Brees’ offense would “have to match our intensity."
“If you hit a (expletive) in the mouth and then they ain’t doing what they’re regularly doing, putting up 50 points, they start to get a little distressed,” Lawrence said. “Now you got them, where you want them at.
“And then you (expletive) choke their (expletive) out.”
The Cowboys backed it up in a 13-10 win, No Saints squad since 2001 had produced fewer yards (176) in a game.
This week, the Cowboys have another statement to make as they pursue a two-game lead over the Eagles in the division race.
“Those big games like that, that’s all talk,” Prescott said. “I know myself and a bunch of guys in here are more about action.
“Talk is cheap.”
Follow Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.
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