The NCAA Tournament is going on which means one thing, it’s time for NFL owners to get together and discuss various things at the annual owners meetings.
It’s at these meetings where a lot of change theoretically occurs for the game we all love. Owners discuss various topics and concerns that are happening within the league, and among other things they propose new rule changes.
In the days of 2019 there are some legitimate rules to discuss. There was obviously the missed call in the NFC Championship Game that likely prohibited the New Orleans Saints from participating in the Super Bowl. But while teams are focused on matters of such importance the Philadelphia Eagles are doing what they do best, obsessing with the Dallas Cowboys.
The league confirmed today that the Eagles submitted a proposal for a change in the league resolutions that would have seen the Lions and Cowboys continue to play on Thanksgiving each year, but to play on the road every other year.
The text of the Eagles’ proposal read, “to continue the annual tradition of having Dallas and Detroit play on Thanksgiving, provided that one of those clubs host a home game with the other club playing away, and alternating home and away games each subsequent season.”
Thanksgiving within the NFL is a very special (and financially valuable) commodity. That the Eagles would be obsessing over something so trivial isn’t shocking, and neither is it that they were flat out incorrect. Those who are capable of more advanced thought have already realized that there is no competitive advantage associated with the annual Thanksgiving Day games for Dallas and Detroit.
“They’re not the first team to discuss that,” Atlanta Falcons president and competition committee chairman Rich McKay said in a conference call Friday. ”We looked at the competitive aspect of it and there’s nothing that indicates an advantage gained that we can see by either Detroit or the Cowboys as they actually have a lower winning percentage in that Thursday game than they did on other home games. But you’d have to ask the Eagles as far (what the reason is for) their proposal.”
Really, the fact that NFL owners had to spend any time at all on this is quite embarrassing for the Eagles. It seems petulant at best to be complaining about the status of a Thursday game for Dallas and Detroit as if it’s some sort of advantage because it’s at home.
We’ve actually seen the Thanksgiving Day game serve as a disadvantage for the Cowboys to some degree. Think back five years ago to the 2014 Turkey Day game when Dallas hosted, ironically, the Eagles after visiting the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football (the Odell catch game) the week before. The quick turnaround coupled with a long road trip was very difficult as far as regaining rest and it showed in the loss to Philadelphia.
Over the last five years the Cowboys have actually been on the road three times in their game before Thanksgiving (New York in 2014, Miami in 2015, and Atlanta last season). That didn’t stop our friends at BGN from trying to isolate a specific point to feed into this hilarity, though.
Since Thursday Night Football began in 2006, the Cowboys have played just two Thursday road games … and neither were on short rest because they previously played on Thanksgiving the week before.
By comparison, the Eagles have played FIVE Thursday night away games on short rest in that same span.
Zero versus five. Not exactly even!
It’s funny how zero and five not being even is suddenly a convenient argument when it fell on deaf ears regarding Super Bowl wins for so long, but that’s a whole different conversation.
You can find “unfair” details about any team’s schedule if you look hard enough. For example the Cowboys were the only team in 2018 to face two playoff teams from the season prior and they had to do it back-to-back. Coincidentally one of these games was against the Eagles (Titans the other).
There’s actually a funny detail about that game against the Eagles, one that the organization and their supporters have conveniently forgotten in their supposed quest for equality. When Dallas visited Philadelphia last season they were indeed coming off of that Tennessee game, a contest which you’ll remember took place on a Monday night.
The Eagles were coming off of their bye week at the time. That’s right. Philly got two whole weeks of rest while the Cowboys were coming off of a short week, but you don’t see Dallas trying to change any rules because they feel like there’s a level of fundamental unfairness that exists.
Maybe that’s the difference between the Cowboys and Eagles, in that one is rational and one is not. Maybe that’s just the difference between the world and the Eagles, who knows.