ESPN asked it's NFL Nation reporters pick the No. 1 current rival for every team. In the NFC East, writers covering the Cowboys' division rivals are unanimous in their verdict: The Giants, Redskins, and Eagles all consider the Cowboys their biggest rivals.
In their own words:
Dan Graziano (New York): "At this point, I'd say the Giants' biggest rival is the Cowboys. Even though Dallas has dominated them the past few years as well, the past seven games between these teams have been decided by an average of 4.86 points. Dallas keeps coming back at the end to break the Giants' hearts, and the rivalry deepens as a result."
John Keim (Washington): "It has been for a long time and remains so now: the Cowboys."
Phil Sheridan (Philadelphia): For fans, the answer is always the Cowboys. This goes back to the 1970s, when the Eagles were dreadful and the Cowboys were strutting around as "America's Team." The Eagles and Cowboys duked it out for the NFC East title in 2013 and 2014, making the Cowboys a big rival for the current players as well as their fans.
And people still wonder why the Cowboys are America's Team.
But what about the other way round? Which team do you think the majority of your fellow Cowboys fans would consider the Cowboys' biggest rivals? Do we still think the Redskins are our most bitter rivals in the division? Or have the Eagles supplanted the Redskins over the last decade? And what about the Giants?
Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas suggests a ranking of 1. Giants, 2. Redskins, 3. Eagles.
From the fans' perspective, I think it remains the Redskins. From the players' perspective, it changes. Several players who were asked could not pick just one team, but there seems to be more satisfaction in beating the Giants. Maybe it's because the Giants twice knocked (2007) or kept (2011) the Cowboys from the playoffs and won a Super Bowl those years. Because Washington won the division last season, it would be No. 2, followed by the Eagles.
Historically, the Redskins are probably the Cowboys' biggest rival. After all, the Redskins and their owner George Preston Marshall have had it out for the Cowboys since before the Cowboys franchise was even officially founded. The Giants have won four Super Bowls of their own, which certainly qualifies them as a serious contender as the Cowboys' biggest rival. And the Eagles, well, they're pretty much irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.
But younger fans may not have the same historical context to go by. One way to find whether the overall sentiment may have changed more recently is to look at how often we talk about them here on Blogging The Boys, as that might be a good indication of how much buzz the other team is generating among the Cowboys fan base.
With the help of our extremely unreliable search function in the top right corner of this page we searched all the BTB comments for each team name. Here are the mentions each team has garnered on our site:
Sooo ... apparently we Cowboys fans talk most about the Eagles, even if each Eagles mention is likely followed by a "ha ha ha."
But is who you talk about an accurate reflection of who your biggest rival is?
The Cowboys vs. Redskins rivalry is without a doubt one of the most storied rivalries in all of pro football. More recently, the Giants and Eagles may have emerged as the opponents who generate more intense feelings among the Cowboys fanbase, especially the younger fans.
Eagles, Giants, or Redskins, which beast in the East do you love the least?