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Pederson: Trash talk to Cowboys is 'unfortunate'

Eliot Shorr-Parks
December 07, 2018 - 11:00 am

The Eagles are continuing the best they can to distance themselves from the comments made by linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill this past week, comments in which the linebacker called the Dallas Cowboys chokers and said the team was going to "make them choke" this Sunday. 

"First of all, the Philadelphia Eagles, myself -- we have a ton of respect for the Cowboys. It has nothing to do with that," head coach Doug Pederson said Friday to reporter. "A ton of respect for Coach (Jason) Garrett. He and I were in the league together at the same time. We played against each other when he was in Dallas and I was with Green Bay. So we go back. It is unfortunate the comments were made. I talk to the team a lot about we don't need to post anything that can used on other team's website or bulletin board. It's unfortunate it happened. We still have to go play, they still have to go play. It is going to be a good football game."

Pederson said that he did pull Grugier-Hill aside after the comments, but he wasn't worried about the Cowboys using them for extra motivation. 

"Anymore, I don't think much is bulletin board material. So much social media that is posted, we can see stuff instantly," Pederson said. "Back in the day, articles were cut out and pinned on a bulletin board for teams to see. I can remember my early days in Green Bay, back before all the social media stuff was on fire. Now, everything is instant. Guys try to understand. They know what kind of game this is. It comes down to us vs. them." 

The comments come just days before the Eagles have to travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, a game in which the winner will be in first place in the NFC East with just three weeks to play. 

Grugier-Hill has not spoken since he made the comments, and his Eagles teammates have tried to avoid discussing the comments as well. 

“I don’t wanna dive into that at all," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "All I know is, we and myself personally, a lot of respect for that team and what they are doing this year.”

 Saftey Malcolm Jenkins -- usually very talkative -- gave short answers to each question asked about the comment. 

"I guess it could," Jenkins said when asked if the comments could be bulletin-board material for the Cowboys. "I don't know."

Defensive end Chris Long, at first joking about how much the media loved Grugier-Hill's quote, implied the quote will only add to what will be a very competitive football game. 

“You guys like that. It makes your job easier. My style is I want to get ready for the football game. I’m not going to give you guys anything to make your job easier," Long said. "But it happens. There is a lot riding on it. I think I know both teams respect each other, and at the end of the day it is going to be a hell of a competitive football game. Both teams want to be each other.”

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox also wouldn't take the bait. 

“We are going to play a really good football team. We have to respect them. They got a lot of momentum," Cox said. "We are coming off two good games. It is going to be a battle. I think the game is going to start off really heated.”

The Cowboys are red hot coming into the game, winning four straight, including a win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Eagles are also playing the best football they have all season, winners of two straight to get back into the race for the division. 

Although he might like the confidence privately, it is hard to imagine head coach Doug Pederson will be happy to see Grugier-Hill giving the Cowboys some extra motivation heading into the game. 

Now, it is up to the Grugier-Hill and his teammates to backup the strong words from the linebacker and win on Sunday -- because the Cowboys will almost certainly remind them of the strong words if they don't. 

"It is going to be a physical, intense football game” Long said. 

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