David Akers just wanted to have some fun.
What happened, as he announced the Eagles' first pick (No. 49 overall, second round) in the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas, has grown into much more than that. As Akers stood on stage at the podium at AT&T Stadium, he excitedly addressed Cowboys fans straight on.
"DALLAS, THE LAST TIME YOU WON THE SUPER BOWL, THESE DRAFT PICKS WEREN'T BORN!"
Of course, Akers' troll of Cowboys fans – a payback to former Dallas wide receiver Drew Pearson from a year earlier when the draft was held in Philadelphia and Pearson trolled Eagles fans – became instant legend.
With the Cowboys here for a Sunday night NFC East showdown, Akers continues to have a good time discussing the decision to go loud and proud and hit the Cowboys fans where it hurts.
"I figured, if they're going to boo me loudly, then I'm going to bring something extra," Akers said at the NovaCare Complex on Friday. "I knew they would boo (NFL Commissioner) Roger (Goodell, who introduced Akers to announce the selection of tight end Dallas Goedert). So I figured, if I hear the boos for me, I'm going to have some fun. Especially after what Drew did last year, letting our town have it right there on the Museum (of Art) steps, I was going to remind all of them what the Eagles did in winning Super Bowl LII.
"It's really outside of my personality to do that, but the Eagles asked me to represent the team and the city and I thought, 'What if a person from South Broad Street had this opportunity. What would that person say?' So I put a PG-rated version of it out there."
The reaction since then?
"I was able to get out of Dallas alive," Akers said, laughing. "That was cool. But from the Eagles fans, it's been great. I played here for 12 seasons and the fans supported me, so for me to represent their voice for one day was a true honor."
Akers, the franchise's all-time leading point producer and a member of the NFL's All-Decade team of the 2000s, was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame in 2017 and then the Eagles won the Super Bowl. It's been a pretty great 12 months for Akers and the Eagles.
On Sunday night, a great rivalry is renewed.
"There's a rivalry for a reason," Akers said. "You respect the players you play against but it's a division game and there is a history between these teams and the fans. It was always fun to be a part of for me and I know the fans love it. You know how it was. Fans would tell you that it's OK to be 2-14 in a season if those two wins came against the Cowboys."