Linebacker Jesse Solomon, in the immortal words of Joe Namath, on Thursday guaranteed that the Dallas Cowboys would beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
"I'm guaranteeing a victory," Solomon said in a seasonal message to Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham and coach Buddy Ryan. "We're gonna be like the Grinch. We're gonna come in there and steal their Christmas. Tell Randall I'll be after him everywhere he goes. He better get some sleep. Tell Buddy he doesn't have to like us. But when we come out of there with a win, he's gonna respect us whether he likes it or not."Solomon said the Cowboys were upset that nobody from the team made the Pro Bowl.
"Our Pro Bowl is going to be making the playoffs," he said. "Philly's in our way."
Afterward, a laughing Solomon looked around the Cowboys' locker room at his teammates and said, "Ya'll better be ready to play, 'cause I'm talking trash."
Even Cowboys punter Mike Saxon got into the spirit of things with a guarantee of his own.
"We're on a roll and we think we can play with anybody," he told a Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter. "Most guys don't even doubt we're going to go up to Philadelphia and beat the Eagles. In fact, the feeling is that we're going to blow them out."
Not all of the Cowboys were so confident. Receiver Michael Irvin, one of Jerome Brown's teammates at the University of Miami, decided it was best not to provoke the Eagles' defensive tackle.
"I've seen firsthand the kind of stuff he can pull," Irvin said. "If that big hog's sleeping, I don't want to wake him up."