With the Eagles ahead comfortably in the second half of Sunday's 43-24 win over the Titans, the chants rained down from the rafters of Lincoln Financial Field.
"We want Dallas! We want Dallas! We want Dallas!"
The fans did their part early on Sunday to help inspire the Eagles to their 10th straight regular season win at home. Rookie Josh Huff's 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the longest scoring play in team history, also helped with that. Nonetheless, the fans could finally look ahead to the Thanksgiving showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, who are also 8-3 after defeating the Giants on Sunday Night Football.
"I've seen it played on Thanksgiving before and I know it's a big-time rivalry," said quarterback Mark Sanchez, who will prepare for his first Eagles-Cowboys showdown. "We're in the third quarter and people are screaming about the Dallas game while this thing's still going on, and I was like, 'What are they talking about?'"
First place in the NFC East is on the line as families gather for the holiday feast. The last time these two teams squared off at AT&T Stadium it was for the NFC East division title. The Eagles used 131 yards on the ground from running back LeSean McCoy and an interception by cornerback Brandon Boykin on Dallas' final drive to win 24-22 back in December 2013.
"It's a short week, it's a big game, Thanksgiving is coming up and it's a division game at that," McCoy said. "So I think you add all those things up together, it's a must-win type of game. I look forward to that. We always have these battles with Dallas. They have a good team and so do we. It's a game we must win."
The coaches headed back to the NovaCare Complex following the win on Sunday over the Titans to game plan for the Cowboys. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis explained that the coaches will not review the tape from the Titans game. They studied the Cowboys during the bye week, but squarely focused on the Titans this past week and it showed on the field.
The players, meanwhile, will be back on the practice field Monday instead of having the day off. The week of prep for the players will be more mental since there is less time to physically recover from the game.
"We just have to go through the mental dress rehearsal throughout the week and then hopefully on Thursday we can come out with a win. We understand how important this game is," cornerback Cary Williams said. "It's huge, it's a big deal. Any division game is a big deal. We want to win our division and repeat what we did last year. They are a great opponent. They have a great team and are playing at a high level right now."
Sanchez is not the only Eagle who is new to the rivalry. Safety Malcolm Jenkins also signed with the Eagles this past offseason. He's been made aware of how important the rivalry is. The only thing is that he didn't need any reminders.
"I was never a big fan of the Cowboys," Jenkins said. "I think I'll fit right in."