PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After seven seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and three with the Arizona Cardinals, Seth Joyner got a call from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Jones wanted the three-time Pro Bowl and all-pro linebacker to come play for him.READ MORE: Exclusive: Sources Tell CBS3 Criminal Charges Expected In Fire, Building Collapse That Resulted In Death Of Philadelphia Fire Lt. Sean Williamson
“I didn’t like the Cowboys when I came [to Philadelphia] and I had new found hatred after I played here for one year,” Joyner said on Monday’s 94WIP Midday Show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie. “And it wasn’t just divisional, it became a personal deal. And just so you know how deep that hatred runs, when I left Arizona [in 1996], Jerry Jones called me personally and tried to get me to become a Cowboy.
“I said, ‘There’s no way in hell I would ever wear that star on the side of my head. Never!'”
Joyner, 51, was an eighth round draft pick of the Eagles in 1986 out of Texas El-Paso. He’s always hated the Cowboys.
“For me it went a lot deeper because I was never, ever, ever, ever a Cowboy fan,” Joyner said. “Even growing up as a kid watching football, I hated the Dallas Cowboys. I could remember the Dallas Cowboys flew me in pre-draft for a workout and they kind of led me to believe that I was in there plan. As a 20-year-old young man, I’m like ‘I don’t want to play for the Cowboys, but I want to play in the NFL.’
“And then they don’t draft me and I get drafted to the Eagles and we’re gonna be playing them twice a year. And now I’m just foaming at the mouth and frothing at the mouth at the opportunity to not only play against that team, but as an eighth round draft choice you begin to take on the mentality that you were passed over — what? 30 teams at that time. You were passed over 30 times, times seven.”READ MORE: 2 Suspects Fatally Shot During Home Invasion In South Philadelphia, Police Say
In Philly, hating the Cowboys is a way of life. You’re taught it at birth. Joyner says that mentality rubs off on the Eagles’ players.
“That hatred goes way beyond my personal hatred, because once you become a Philadelphia Eagle you embody the fans, the mentality of the fans, the mentality of the city,” Joyner said. “The Eagles could go 0-14, just as long as they beat the Cowboys twice. And I think the fans will be a little pissed — a lot pissed — but they will revel in two victories every year against the Cowboys.”
Ritchie, who played fullback for the Eagles from 2003-2004, grew up in Pennsylvania and also hated the Cowboys.
“I was always a football fan growing up in Mechanicsburg, PA that’s what you care most about,” Ritchie said. “And I could never understand why they deemed themselves ‘America’s Team.’ I found that so vain.”MORE NEWS: Officer Fires Gun During Struggle With Suspect Wanted For Stealing Car, Philadelphia Police Say
The Eagles (4-2) are at the Cowboys (5-1) on Sunday Night Football this week. The winner will take over first place in the NFC East.