Yahoo! Sports Jason Cole interviews the New England Patriots head coach:
Cole: Jimmy Johnson once said, if you don’t take too many risks, you can win nine or 10 games a year.
Belichick: Jimmy probably said the same thing to you that he once said to me: “You’re really only competing with about 10 teams a year. If you just say out of the way, the other 20 teams will screw it up themselves. Whether it’s ownership or personnel or coaching or some combination of factors.” Ego, internal struggle, something will happen to two-thirds of the teams, that was Jimmy’s theory. That leaves you with about 10 teams that you’re going to have to really battle with. Those teams have it together. They’re going to make good decisions and if you play bad football, they’re going to take advantage of it. They’re going to find some undrafted guy or some middle-round pick or some veteran free agent who is going to spark their team. Pittsburgh is always going to be there. Indianapolis is always going to be there. They may not win it, but they’ll be there. You’re going to have to beat them. Philadelphia is going to be there. Yeah, [quarterback Donovan] McNabb might get hurt one year and they might go 7-9, but they’re going to be there. You’re still battling them on every front.
Apparently, former Eagles coordinator and current Ravens head coach John Harbaugh believes that for the last decade the Cowboys have been part of the “other 20”. At least its easy to assume that from his quote in Reuben Frank and Mark Eckel’s Game Changers.
Asked why the Eagles have had so much success from 1999-2008 and the Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game during that period, Harbaugh had this to say:
“Why is that? Because what Andy Reid and his program stand for if the opposite of what the Cowboys stand for. The Cowboys are a star system. It’s all about building around individuals first and collecting talent, collecting great players. Andy has always been about building a team. And over the long haul, it’s a team sport, and one of the greatest examples of that is what’s happened with the Eagles and the Cowboys over the last 10 years. The Cowboys stand for everything that’s wrong with the NFL.”
Tonight. Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles. The battle for first place in the NFC East. Let’s see if Belichick and Harbaugh are right.