I was flipping through the channels during a break in the Flyers game when I stumbled upon Jon Gruden's "QB Camp" on ESPN. He was talking with Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert about lord knows what (if I had to guess I'd say Gruden was being intense and rattling off a 67 word play call), when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a framed newspaper story.
I paused the DVR and took a closer look. The headline reads "Eagles Stop Cowboys Cold" and features a photo of the glorious defensive stand from that 1995 Eagles/Cowboys game at the Vet. I mean, the play has all-time legendary status for Eagles fans, but I had no idea it meant anything to Gruden.
He took the Raiders to the playoffs (!) and lost in the tuck rule AFC Championship game. He won a Super Bowl with Tampa. He's an analyst on Monday Night Football. The guy pisses football. With everything he's accomplished in his career he has the headline from his days as the Eagles offensive coordinator hanging on his wall.
I did a bit of the Googling on the game and came across this postgame story from Frank Fitzpatrick in the December 11, 1995 Inquirer. The first paragraph of the story reads...
"Time ran out and Jon Gruden pounded his fists jubilantly on the coaching box's plexiglass window, the rhythmic thumps shaking the tiny cubicle. On the field below, as the Eagles danced and leaped, their heartbeats, not to mention those of their wildly whooping fans, must have sounded the same."
So, apparently GruDog was a bit fired up about the defense stopping Barry Switzer's Cowboys on consecutive 4th & 1's. So fired up that 15+ years later he still has the newspaper clipping hanging on his wall. Kind of random, but very cool.
Here's some video of the famous plays. Note, the volume is not great, but it's the best I could find. Also, the kind gentleman who put this on YouTube may want to get checked for sleep apnea, because you can hear him breathing over the entire clip. Sir, as a fellow Eagles fan I am worried about your health and well being. With that being said, keep up the good work.
How amazing is Merrill's "And they stop 'em agaiiiinnnnn!"? Also, I think my favorite part is Mike Zordich's neck-roll. They don't make them like that anymore.
Oh, and if you are interested here is a partial boxscore from the game. FYI - Chris T. Jones had one catch for nine yards. Yeah, that's about right. I think Chris T. Jones was the first of the"best hands on the team" guys. He was quickly followed by Na Brown.