Talk is cheap. Bragging rights aren't.
It feels like forever ago when the Dallas Cowboys were 3-5 and facing a premature season burial, taking their 0-4 road record to Lincoln Financial Field to face a rival Philadelphia Eagles team who had righted the ship from their slow start — landing two wins in their previous three games. The Cowboys were, however, on a two-game losing streak, and the collective world of the NFL predicted they'd fall into a 3-6 hole at the hands of the Eagles. Fans in Philadelphia even brought a casket marked with the Star to commemorate the would-be burial, only to find their own team stuffed in the pine box when it was all said-and-done.
27-20, Cowboys win.
What came next for the Eagles was a 48-point dismemberment by the almighty New Orleans Saints, a team the Cowboys choked the life out of on Nov. 29, adding the most impressive notch to what's now a four-game win streak. Sitting atop the NFC East, one game ahead of the Eagles — who downed the broken Washington Redskins in Week 13 — a win by the Cowboys this Sunday would both give them a shot at landing the No. 3 seed in the NFC and put them two games up on the Eagles, with only three games remaining in the season.
In other words, they'd all but clinch the division, considering the wrath of the Eagles' strength of schedule to close out 2018.
Needless to say, Philadelphia doesn't want to see that happen, and at least one player has already started yammering about how they'll force Dallas to "choke" this week — backup linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill relaying those thoughts to the media. Head coach Doug Pederson called the comment "unfortunate", and quarterback Carson Wentz refused to step into the mud as well, proclaiming his "respect" for the Cowboys.
The bulletin board material had already been delivered though, and now it's time to find out which team will need the Heimlich maneuver.