A long (and fine) line of guys who played for the Cowboys and Eagles
Riding – and flying – high
Thursday's bombshell news that All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray is leaving the Lone Star State for the greener pastures (OK, dollars) of the City of Brotherly Love left Cowboys fans steaming (and their No. 29 jerseys in flames). But rest easy, Jerry backers -- Murray is hardly the first guy to trade the star on his helmet in for a set of wings. And you guys have seemed to just fine (in the Super Bowl standings, it's Cowboys 5, Eagles 0). And the 'Boys aren't exactly innocent when it comes to poaching talent from their rival's roster, either. Here's a look at some of the most noteworthy players to take the field for both the Cowboys and the Eagles.
Matthew EmmonsMatthew Emmons
He's not the most decorated player on this list, nor was he the most successful. But T.O. is probably the most memorable of all players to walk on both sides of this NFC East fence. Owens was traded to the Eagles at the age of 30 after a bizarre, failed trade with the Ravens. His All-Pro first season in Philadelphia was cut short by a broken ankle and torn ligament suffered on Dec. 19 -- against the Cowboys. But seven weeks later, he made a stunning return in time for the Super Bowl, and dominated the Patriots with nine catches for 122 yards in a 24-21 Super Bowl XXXIX loss. As a Cowboy, he put up three straight 1,000-yard seasons (the final three of his career) . . . and gave us the most memorable popcorn break in sports history.
Albert Dickson / Sporting NewsAlbert Dickson / Sporting News
Best known as a head coach, studio analyst and actor, Iron Mike was a hell of a tight end, too. A Hall of Famer, in fact. He did the majority of his damage in Chicago -- he played his first six seasons as a Bear, winning an NFL championship in the pre-Super Bowl era, making all five of his Pro Bowl appearances and getting named to both of his All-Pro teams. His seventh and eighth seasons, in Philly, saw a total of 39 catches for 385 yards and four TDs. He was even more pedestrian in his final four seasons in Dallas, but he did get his only Super Bowl win in 1972.
James FloresJames Flores
Walker is most beloved in Dallas for how he left Big D. While in his fourth season, Walker was traded to Minnesota in the largest player trade in NFL history: Walker and four draft picks to the Vikings for five players and a whopping eight draft picks -- three of them first-rounders. Among the players ultimately acquired by the Cowboys were Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper and Darren Woodson, and the Cowboys' last dynasty was born. After two-and-a-half miserable years in Minnesota, Walker was signed by the Eagles. Three seasons in Philly yielded a pair of playoff games (including a loss to the Cowboys), a 1,000-yard season, and a season in which he became the first player in NFL history with a rush, catch and kick return of at least 90 yards each in one season. He returned to Dallas for two final seasons before retiring in 1997.
Focus on SportFocus On Sport
Carmichael's numbers are strong enough, but the 6-foot-8 wideout enjoys the distinction of being what most believe to be the tallest receiver in NFL history. Along the lines of Joe Namath's final season as a Ram, and Johnny Unitas' one season as a Charger, Carmichael finished off one of the greatest careers in Eagles history by playing one last season on a new squad. In 13 seasons, Carmichael put up by far the greatest receiving numbers ever by an Eagle. His 589 catches, 8,978 receiving yards and 79 receiving TDs are well clear of any player in Philadelphia history. But in 1984, the 35-year-old was cut by the Eagles . . . then by the Jets. The Cowboys gave Carmichael one last shot, but he played in just two games and made just one catch for seven yards in Week 9 before being cut and retiring.
Focus On SportFocus On Sport
A career which saw the former USC standout bounce around to a total of six teams in 15 seasons made a one-year stop in Dallas in 1994 before heading to Philadelphia the next four seasons. As a Cowboy, Peete started one game in place of injured starter Troy Aikman and beat . . . the Eagles, of course, before being injured himself. The best season of his career came in green, when he played in a career-high 15 games and started a career-high 12 in 1995. He set career highs in virtually every statistical category that season (except TD passes), and led the Eagles to the playoffs (where he beat the Lions -- the team that drafted him -- and lost to . . . the Cowboys). But hey, he's married to Holly Robinson Peete, so he wins!
Andy LyonsAndy Lyons
Yup, Randall was a Cowboy. Cunningham's most memorable days were clearly in Philadelphia, where for 11 seasons he redefined the term 'running quarterback.' (In 1990, Cunningham finished 58 yards shy of becoming the first QB in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.) He left for Minnesota where he played for three seasons and put up the greatest passing season of his career, leading the league in passer rating and earning first-team All-Pro honors in 1998. Two seasons later, in the twilight of his career, a 37-year-old Cunningham was brought to Dallas to back up 34-year-old Troy Aikman and perhaps mentor 24-year-old Anthony Wright. Cunningham got into six games and started three, losing to the Eagles in his final game as a Cowboy.
Harry HowHarry How
How short-lived was Zendejas’ career? It's practically impossible to even find a photo of him in an NFL uniform. Zendejas played only three seasons as a pro, scoring a total of 189 points while bouncing between the Cowboys and Eagles from 1987-89. So why is he on this list? The Bounty Bowl, everyone! Long before BountyGate, there was the Bounty Bowl. On Thanksgiving Day in 1989, after the Eagles thumped the Cowboys 27-0, Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson accused Philadelphia coach Buddy Ryan (pictured) of putting a $200 bounty on Zendejas, the Cowboys kicker who earlier that season was cut by the Eagles. After the game, Ryan laughed off the accusation, saying 'Why would I place a bounty on a kicker, who can't kick worth a damn?'
Focus on SportFocus On Sport
Another Hall of Famer on the list, and one who at least enjoyed many of his Hall of Fame-caliber years on one of the teams. In this instance, it was the Eagles. For seven seasons, the do-it-all flanker piled up more than 5,500 yards from scrimmage, scored nearly 70 TDs and made five Pro Bowls in the 1950s and '60s. And he helped the Eagles win the NFL title in 1960. But in March 1964, new Eagles coach Joe Kuharich decided the team had too many holes and needed to get bigger, so he traded McDonald for two linemen and kicker/punter Sam Baker. McDonald would play one season in Dallas, starting all 14 games and racking up 612 yards receiving, but would score only two TDs, the lowest in his career to that point. The Eagles would go 6-8 that season and Kuharich would go 28-41 in five seasons in Philadelphia.
ANTHONY ONCHAKANTHONY ONCHAK
Another kicker with another infamous moment. For the first three seasons of his career, Boniol was a machine for the Cowboys in the midst of their dynasty. In 1995, he led the NFL in field-goal percentage and extra points, scored a career-high 127 points and won a Super Bowl ring. Two seasons later, the Eagles signed him as a free agent. He would never again eclipse 100 points in a season, and within three years, his career was over. But on a Monday night in 1997, Boniol played a major role in the rivalry. In the third game of his first season as an Eagle, Boniol lined up for a 22-yard gimme with four seconds left and the Cowboys up 21-20. Only punter/holder Tom Hutton fumbled the snap pictured here -- and the game.