When you think of the Cowboys and their greatest rivals, the correct answer is the entire NFC East. The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have always presented themselves to be major thorns in the sides of the Cowboys and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Just the mere thought of Buddy Ryan and his bounty on Luiz Zendejas is enough to get my blood boiling, but so were the war of words words with Jimmy Johnson. One of the most despicable displays in all of sports had to be the Eagle fans' reaction to a motionless Michael Irvin lying on the turf of that dump known as Veterans Stadium.
The Giants probably present the Cowboys with the most logical rivalry due to their dominance in Jerry Jones' new stadium, the victory in the 2007 playoff game featuring the Cabo debacle and endless trash talking amongst players.
Want a little salt in the wound? How about watching the Giants hoist the Lombardi Trophy twice in six seasons? The flashback to Antonio Pierce and his "no respect" campaign, and Brandon Jacobs' attempt to demolish our play clock make me want to have a confrontation with Paris Jackson's meat cleaver.
There are always a fair amount of components that go into constructing a fan guide to hating a rival opponent. It starts out with a little history and story backdrop, it must contain a certain degree of hatred for certain players and then there is the head-to-head battle.
But enough about the ingredients, Eagles and Giants, let's move on to perhaps the Cowboys' biggest rival, the Redskins.
Say what you want about the Redskins, but they are a franchise rich in tradition and success. Both teams have eight Super Bowl titles between them to go along with over 20 division titles.
The Cowboys and Redskins are arguably one of the premier rivalries in all of pro sports, and a huge crux of the rivalry dates back to 1971 and the George Allen days. His disdain for the Cowboys was legendary, and he saw the Cowboys as an arrogant team that he wanted to beat badly.
He made no qualms or apologies regarding his feelings, and for that, the seed was planted. But make no mistakes about this rivalry, the hatred is at a fever pitch that will continue with the arrival of RGIII, and his clean sweep of the Cowboys last season.
Oh yeah, he even mentioned something about making Cowboys Stadium his home. Ring any bells?
Now that Washington has their first division title since 1999, they will undoubtedly set their sights higher with the arrival of a franchise quarterback. This not only raises the bar in the NFC East, but it has given this rivalry a renewed energy.
The question is whether or not the Cowboys have something to say about it. If this team, under Jason Garrett, is going to be competitive against the Redskins and the entire NFC, it's time to up the ante and hit some people in the mouth.
So we've established some history and also identified what will continue to fuel this rivalry. RGIII represents the present and future, but players like Joe Theismann, John Riggins and Dexter Manley represent that bridge to the present.
Cowboy fans hated them then and probably still do now.
So that leaves the head-to-head statistics of this rivalry, and a bigger picture to the entire story. Currently, the Cowboys hold a 62-40-2 advantage over Washington but are 0-2 against them in playoff competition. After the 1997 season, Dallas won 10 straight contests over them, and by 2005, it was 14-of-15 games.
But times have changed, and the Cowboys will have to figure out a way to regain their winning ways and dominance over the Redskins. It won't be easy, and it won't come without wanting it more than any of their opponents.
The Cowboys are the easiest team to hate, along with the New York Yankees, in all of sports. It's what makes the game exciting, it's what draws fans into the stadiums and it's what creates the biggest rivalries in sports today.
The Cowboys happen to be part of one of the biggest.
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