Cowboys won't get into spitting contest

Posted: January 08, 2010

IRVING, Texas - When it comes to stirring up muck, the Eagles have clearly had the upper hand this week. Heck, the Cowboys have barely put up a fight.

And that's just fine with Dallas head coach Wade Phillips.

"You know, what tells is the game itself," he observed wryly. "We all know that. The verbal wars don't do a whole lot. It's the war on the field that makes the difference. Hopefully we'll respond that way."

The latest incident came when Dave Spadaro, director of the Eagles' official Web site, posted a video of himself spitting on the Texas star at midfield of Cowboys Stadium before last Sunday's game. Spadaro later apologized and the Spudcam bit was taken down.

None of the Cowboys asked yesterday seemed to care that their logo had been disrespected or inclined to use the incident as motivation.

"What does it mean? Nothing," running back Tashard Choice said. "He don't play football. I don't know what you can say. That's just dumb."

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick said he hadn't heard about it and added, "I don't care."

Doesn't it motivate you? "Nope. The Giants put jockstraps in our locker room, right? And we lost to them."

That was a reference to a rumor that the Giants had left the visitor's locker room in disarray after beating the Cowboys in the first regular-season game in their new stadium. That was never confirmed, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning did admit to autographing the wall after the game.

Punt returner Patrick Crayton was more interested in finding out whether Spadaro had been disciplined. "I don't even know what the repercussions are, what he [Eagles management] did to him," he said. "I don't know if he's been fired or fined or anything. If there was no action, then that lets you know what the owner of Philly and the people up there think about it as well."

That incident surfaced after quicksilver wide receiver DeSean Jackson tweeted that the Eagles would "sting they ass" in tomorrow night's rematch and boasted in a UStream appearance that "them boys are scared of me."

Again, though, the Cowboys' reaction has been muted and amused.

"Certain players can back that up. He might be one of those guys," linebacker Bradie James said. "Of course, we'll have our stingers out, too, waiting for him."

Cornerback Mike Jenkins chalked it up as a plus for the Cowboys. "He's lost already. He's doing all this extra talking. He's out of his game right now," he said. "What more can we do?"

Crayton appeared slightly more annoyed. "I don't think he realizes what's coming," he said. "It's different when you get that at home. When you've got to turn right back around and come down to our house [against] a defense you haven't done anything against . . . Trust me, it's playoffs. It means something."

When it comes to in-your-face trash talk, the Eagles have been runaway winners this week. Whether any of that will ultimately matter will be resolved beginning around 8 o'clock tomorrow night.

Points after

Wade Phillips wasn't feeling well yesterday, but said he didn't believe he had passed it on to any of his players . . . With the wind chill factor dipping into the single digits yesterday, the team once again worked out at Cowboys Stadium with the roof closed instead of at the Valley Ranch complex. The team's indoor practice facility was destroyed by a tornado last spring . . . Shaun Suisham, signed Dec. 21 after being released by the Redskins, missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt against the Eagles last Sunday. Phillips said he has kicked well in practice this week, but hedged when asked if he was concerned about that aspect of the game. "You know, this is what we're going with. I mean, we just have to go on what the guy's done and what we feel. There's always concern, I think, but he's working hard is what he's doing," he said . . .

Linebacker DeMarcus Ware missed practice yesterday with a sore back but is expected to play. Running back Marion Barber was listed as a limited participant yesterday with a sore knee. Running back Tashard Choice (concussion) practiced fully for the first time this week. Right tackle Marc Colombo also had was a full participant after being listed as limited Wednesday . . . Patrick Crayton said he realizes that the Eagles miss late defensive coordinator Jim Johnson but added he believes they might miss Brian Dawkins even more. "He was the heart and soul of that team. He organized and got them in position to be successful," Crayton said. "You always had to watch him, have your head on a swivel. You had to know his signals, you had to learn his body language and what he was going to do on certain blitzes. He was the quarterback on that side of the ball."

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