The Most One-Sided Rivalry in Sports

David Thompson had George Gervin. Sham had Secretariat. Taz had Black Ruby.

And the Philadelphia Eagles — or at least their fans anyway — have the Dallas Cowboys.

Since the Super Bowl era began in 1966, the Cowboys have finished ahead of the Eagles in the division standings 38 times, with the Eagles having finished ahead of the Cowboys 18 times.

Over that same span, Dallas has a .594 regular-season winning percentage; Philadelphia has won at a .510 clip.

The Cowboys have 25 division titles since 1966, while the Eagles have 11 — and in the stat that drives Eagles fans craziest of all, the Cowboys have five Super Bowl rings, while the Eagles have one.

As Ed Norton said to Ralph Kramden in an episode of The Honeymooners, "I detect the presence of a green-eyed monster."

And this observation is totally justified: Join a critical mass of Eagles-themed pages on Facebook, and you will see at least 100 times as many "Dallas Stinks" (actually a stronger word than "stinks" is typically used) posts as "Washington Stinks" and "the Giants Stink" posts combined.

Another common epithet that you will encounter on these pages is posts calling Dallas the "Cowgirls" — which is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, as the average Dallas starter is seven-tenths of an inch taller than the average Philadelphia starter, and outweighs him by just over five pounds.

Thus Dallas is the bigger, stronger, tougher, more physical team, while Philadelphia is the smaller, weaker, softer, finesse team (Buddy Ryan must be turning over in his grave if he knows what his beloved Eagles have morphed into).

In recent years at least, Dallas has also had more talented players at the so-called skill positions: from 2015 to the present, the Cowboys have gotten five thousand-yard seasons from their running backs (four of them by Ezekiel Elliott, the other by Darren McFadden) and four thousand-yard seasons from their wide receivers (Amari Cooper twice, and Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb once each).

By contrast, the Eagles have not had a single running back or wide receiver gain a thousand yards in a season over the same period, although tight end Zach Ertz (now with Arizona) did gain 1,163 receiving yards in 2018.

(And not for nothing, but Elliott is listed at 6'0" and 228 pounds, and McFadden was 6'2" and 210 — while no Eagle running back who was listed as at least 6'0" has had a thousand-yard season since the 6'1", 217-pound Ricky Watters, in 1997 — further reinforcing the narrative of how the Cowboys are bigger, stronger, and more physical than the Eagles).

Furthermore, where Dallas perennially leads the NFL in merchandise sales, Philadelphia perpetually waddles in what used to be known in baseball as the "second division" — and in an episode of the old-school, Richard Dawson-hosted Family Feud, the question "name a city with a pro football team" came up. The number one answer? Dallas — and don't even get an Eagles fan started about the Cowboys being "America's Team," and having had a hole in the roof of their former stadium "so God could watch his team."

Back in the 1980s, Dear Abby or Ann Landers — can't remember which one; after all they were identical twin sisters — published an essay entitled Scenario for a Winner. One of its lines went as follows: "The winner respects those who are superior to him and tries to learn from them; the loser resents the superiority of others and tries to find chinks in their armor."

And what can the Eagles learn from the Cowboys?

First off, that money, like manure, does no good 'til it's spread. And second off, that star power — running backs and/or wide receivers having thousand-yard seasons — commands respect from a team's opponents. A team's front office cannot be deathly afraid that if a running back or wide receiver has a thousand-yard season, he will hold out the following summer to try and get his contract renegotiated.

Plus a "committee" approach gives a team an air of mediocrity. This is why the post-draft odds have the Cowboys at 12-1 to win Super Bowl LVII, while the Eagles are 40-1, a higher price than four teams that did not make the playoffs in 2021, when they did.

But the vast majority of Eagles fans would rather wallow in jealous self-pity and be the Cain to Dallas' Abel — or if one is well-versed in ancient mythology, the Aglauros to Dallas' Herse (Aglauros was turned to stone because of her jealousy of Mercury's love for Herse, her sister).

Where the other six deadly sins — pride, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust — are actually pleasurable for the sinner, envy never is.

Maybe this is why the Eagles fan base is the most despised fan base in the NFL.

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