‘We stay in our lane’: Cowboys respond to Eagles coach Nick Sirianni’s bold rivalry shirt

FRISCO, Texas—Cornerback Trevon Diggs’ eyebrows shot up when he heard.

Receiver CeeDee Lamb’s eyes widened, too.

But it was Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, perhaps more comfortable as a veteran, who spoke unguarded. Would he want head coach Mike McCarthy arriving to work in a “Beat Philly” shirt?

“No,” the sixth-year pro quipped. “We stay in our lane.”

Philadelphia first year coach Nick Sirianni stirred the pot of the NFC East rivalry when he met with reporters Thursday wearing a shirt featuring a pair of Cowboys and Eagles helmets facing off. In bolded black letters, outlined further in white, the word “BEAT” spanned Sirianni’s chest. Below the helmets, “DALLAS.”

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“I can’t tell you how many times since I’ve been here I’ve been having an interaction with a fan and it’s like, ‘Hey: Beat Dallas,’” Sirianni said. “I’ll be wearing this all week. My kids got it. My wife has one. And yeah, we’ll be wearing them.”

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Diggs said that as he focuses on the Cowboys’ game plan and preparation, “it don’t bother me.”


Sirianni continues a trend of Eagles coaches speaking before the game. His predecessor Doug Pederson garnered headlines before Philadelphia visited Dallas in 2019. Pederson told a Philadelphia radio station in the week leading up to that game that his Eagles were “gonna win that football game, and when we do, we’re in first place in the NFC East.” He later disputed that he guaranteed a win. The Cowboys won 37-10.

“They’re definitely probably our biggest rival since I’ve been here, probably the team I don’t like the most,” Elliott said. “I’d say probably half the time we play them there’s something a little chippiness or a little scuffle before the game. … Philly week is always fun.”

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni speaks to the media Thursday, Sept. 23, as his team prepares for its Monday night matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni speaks to the media Thursday, Sept. 23, as his team prepares for its Monday night matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys and Eagles have split the series in five of the last six seasons, since Dallas began a new franchise era in 2016 with Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys’ lone sweep, in 2018, included an overtime victory.


Philadelphia and Dallas bring 1-1 records to this week’s "Monday Night Football" matchup, the NFC East race in a three-way tie with Washington. The Football Team plays at Buffalo on Sunday. If the Bills win, the Cowboys and Eagles will be playing for an early claim of the division lead.

Cowboys players tried to downplay Sirianni’s attire, kicker Greg Zuerlein insisting “that’s what everyone’s thinking in their head anyway.

“Just because you wear a shirt doesn’t change the fact that we’re thinking ‘Beat Philadelphia’ and they’re thinking beat us,” Zuerlein said after practice. “It’s probably just a little fun thing that they like to do.”

Lamb said he takes care not to place extra emphasis on the rivalry dynamic of a game; and yet, he knows the chance to win an NFC East contest means there is “a lot more at stake.” Sirianni, adorning the message in his own way, seems to agree.


“I am not mad at (Sirianni),” Lamb said. “He is supporting his team. And I got to support my guys.

“We just have a different way of showing it.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cowboys respond to Eagles coach Nick Sirianni's 'Beat Dallas' shirt