GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys reacts on the sidleine during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 12, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 30-24 in overtime. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Oh how far we've fallen in the hearts and minds of the national media in a little less than two years.
It is Friday, from all I can tell, which means that it's time for talking heads and prognosticators, barflies and armchair quarterbacks to fire up the argumentative motors and squabble pettily among themselves about the slew of football games this weekend.
They'll yell, demean, deride and, in the case of Philadelphia, very possibly fling large batteries at one another.
Once upon a time not long ago, many of those more visible squabblers would have been vomiting words of praise for Dallas, justified or not, who were for a short time in 2007 the darlings of the national football media. The build-up to this weekend's match-up with Philadelphia, then, tells a tale of their descent.
"I like the Eagles," said Harrison. "This is the Dallas Cowboys biggest test yet, especially Tony Romo. He's going to see a host of blitzes. They're going to disguise coverage and come from all over the place. They're going to try and pressure and knock him in the mouth."
Dungy added, "I like Philadelphia because I think Dallas still has some weaknesses in the secondary. You can see a ton of big plays from Philly's receivers this week."
The two analysts are not alone--71% of Sports Illustrated readers chose the Iggles, as did Peter King, Herm Edwards and 80% of ESPN's "expert panel"; hell,even Drew's famed index card, which appears to be the most adept football seer around, has the Eagles emerging triumphant.
Vaguely alarming is not that people believe the Eagles will win--they are a good football team, capable of beating just about anyone in the Linc--but the sheer prominence of this thinking. The Cowboys, it would seem, have no shot; which might be fine. Neither did the Oakland Raiders.