It wouldn’t be Philadelphia-Dallas week if Buddy Ryan and Jimmy Johnson didn’t exchange insults.
Philadelphia Coach Ryan insists he can’t even remember Johnson’s name.
Dallas Coach Johnson thinks Ryan must be getting senile.
Dealings between the two haven’t been civil since Johnson accused Ryan of placing a bounty on some Dallas players in last year’s Thanksgiving Day game, which Ryan’s Eagles won, 27-0.
“They have a bad Thanksgiving Day and their coach, whatever his name is, instead of just taking the heat for a bad game plan, he made it into a bounty bowl,” Ryan said.
“Maybe Buddy is getting senile, I don’t know,” Johnson countered. “I guess it’s good for our guys to understand the mentality of the team we are playing.”
Dallas, which lost to Philadelphia 21-20 earlier in the year, visits Veterans Stadium on Sunday with a possible wild-card playoff berth at stake.
If Dallas wins and Detroit beats Green Bay, the Cowboys would earn the third NFC wild-card berth. Philadelphia has already clinched a wild card.
Johnson, who is 0-3 against Ryan, said he understands the philosophy involved in Ryan’s verbal insults.
“He enjoys needling people and getting under your skin when he has the upper hand,” Johnson said. “You didn’t see a lot of quotes early in the season when he was losing. He clinched a playoff spot, and now you hear him.”
Johnson said Dallas will have a more competitive team than the one beaten 20-10 in Philadelphia last year. Johnson and the team were snowballed by the fans when they left the field.
“It was a dark season, not just that day,” Johnson said of the 1-15 record of his rookie campaign.
“It was a miserable year, particularly knowing you didn’t have a chance to win, but now we are more confident and know we will win if we have prepared ourselves,” Johnson said.