Cowboys News & Notes

Sunday will be the first time since 1980 that the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys have met in the final month of the season with first place in the NFC East at stake.

* Former Cowboys great Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, saw his first action Sunday against Chicago since being sidelined with a broken left shoulder blade suffered against Dallas on Oct. 5. Smith had one carry for minus-3 yards. For the season, Smith has 189 yards on 66 attempts (2.9 yards per carry), one touchdown and a long run of 22 yards for Arizona. Smith had one catch for 5 yards Sunday to raise his season totals to six receptions for 32 yards. Cowboys running back Troy Hambrick has 646 rushing yards on 202 carries (3.2 yards per carry), five touchdowns and a long run of 31 yards. He has 14 catches for 91 yards.

* The Cowboys are 23-12 in games immediately following Thanksgiving. They have played the Eagles and Redskins most often (four times each). The Cowboys beat the Eagles in all four games. Three of the four wins were in Philadelphia.

* Only three days after the Cowboys had beaten the Eagles 23-21, Donovan McNabb said the Eagles still were the best team in the NFC East.

"Now, people say, `Is Dallas for real or are they the best team?'" McNabb said Oct. 15. "Clearly, if you watch the film, they're not. So, what does that tell you?" The Cowboys haven't forgotten.

"We have all the motivation we need to get it going," Cowboys running back Aveion Cason said.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells downplayed McNabb's comments in his Wednesday media session, saying, "You hear that all over the television every week from some of these guys. It doesn't bother me." But Parcells has reminded his players.

"I like that kind of motivation," Cowboys defensive tackle La'Roi Glover said. "I'm a big fan of press clippings, put stuff out and let the team hear a guy disrespecting you like that and saying negative things about you like that. ...You hear it. You see it. You read it. They post it up on the boards around here. That kind of stuff gets you fired up."

88 -- Times the Cowboys have played the Eagles, more times than the Cowboys have played any other team. The Cowboys have beaten the Eagles more times (51) than all but one team (Arizona, 52). Sunday will be the first time since 1980 these teams have met in the final month of the season with first place in the NFC East at stake.

"I'm trying, first of all, to get back on the winning track here and secondly to get a better performance out of the team than the last time we played. That's what I'm interested in doing. The fact that we're playing in a game that involves first place, I think that's a good thing for us at this time of the year being that it's in the 13th game I've been here. I feel that's a good thing. But I look at this season in its entirety and I want to try to make sure that I'm doing everything o try to give our game the best chance to win this week this week, and then I'll worry about next week next week." * Cowboys coach Bill Parcells.

CowboysHQ Top Stories