The line goes something like this: "if you are the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, you can go 2-14 as long as you beat the Dallas Cowboys twice."
That was probably true once upon a time. But in those days, the Eagles were a perennial doormat, and the Cowboys were seemingly always getting at least as far as the National Football Conference title game.
Much has been written of how the Cowboys' fortunes have flattened out. Since winning their last Super Bowl in 1995, the Cowboys are below .500. This would ordinarily thrill Eagles' fans. There's just one problem.
That Cowboys team on the other sideline looks a lot like this Eagles team.
When I describe a flashy wide receiver who gets a lot of attention but for whatever reason cannot be a team leader or even produce like a No. 1 receiver, am I talking about Dez Bryant or DeSean Jackson?
You want to talk defense? OK.
When I tell you about a defensive side that has a handful of highly-paid, highly-touted defensive players with All-Pro pedigree that nonetheless cannot be trusted with a lead late in a game, am I talking about those Cowboys (@BAL, NYG) or am I talking about these Eagles (@PIT, DET)?
And when I talk about a head coach who has in the past been considered well above average at his job, but who now deals with rumors of imminent firing almost daily because of clock management issues and the aforementioned defensive breakdowns, am I talking about Jason Garrett or Andy Reid?
True, party-line spewing stalwart Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie will never be confused with the ongoing reality show that is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. But Lurie did take a page out of Jones' script when he unnecessarily and foolishly announced prior to this season that another 8-8 season would not be good enough to convince Lurie to bring Reid back after his contract expires at the end of the season.
The Eagles have to win five of their last eight just to get to 8-8 now. And it is hard to win even one game without an offensive line (via dallasnews.com)
So has begun the walk to the gallows for Reid, a walk of undetermined length. He might get fired if the Eagles lose to the Cowboys and fall to 3-6. Or maybe Reid will be fired later in the season once the team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
It would almost be cruel to compel Reid to coach his team on December 23 against the Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field, to send him out one more time to be booed mercilessly by a fanbase that has wanted him gone for a while now.
But Reid could call Chan Gailey, Dave Campo or Wade Phillips for advice on how to cope with that.
Maybe all of this is why Eagles/Cowboys week in Philadelphia has been so subdued. As of this writing, the game is not even sold out. It makes sense, though.
Watching the Eagles play a mirror image of themselves is no fun when both images are so ugly.