Fire up the ol’ bulletin board in Dallas, we’ve got some material to put on it.
“Look at Dallas’ history,” Grugier-Hill said Wednesday, via John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “They always choke, so we’ll go down there and make them choke.”
To be fair, Dallas’ “history” suggests it doesn’t “always” choke, considering America’s Team owns five Super Bowl wins. But given Grugier-Hill was 1-year-old the last time Dallas hoisted a Lombardi Trophy, you can forgive the linebacker’s phrasing.
In the recent history, Philadelphia has taken six of its last eight games at Jerry World and is coming off its first Super Bowl win.
In the current season, the Cowboys are the hot team, riding a four-game winning streak and coming off a dismantling of a previously scorching New Orleans Saints team. Meanwhile, the Eagles have spent most of the season as the ones gagging during an elongated Super Bowl hangover.
Grugier-Hill’s comment will likely annoy the pants off Doug Pederson. Coaches hate when players — especially 25-snaps-a-game players — provide opponents with “Bulletin Board Material.”
It’s hogwash to think that Cowboys players need the motivation to get up for a division game with weighty implications on the line. If Dallas players need a stimulus to play inspired in a game that can all-but knock the Eagles out of playoff contention, they don’t deserve to win.
However, sometimes the BBM can help focus a player’s attention to detail and become a rallying cry for a team.
Clichés become clichés for a reason. And there is a reason coaches constantly use what opponents say or do before a game to fuel players and focus their attention.
Perhaps the most famous bulletin board material usage came from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick when he told his players the night before Super Bowl XXXIX about Philadelphia’s postgame parade plans.