NFL Notebook

Eagles Wonder About Patriots' Tactics

Dallas owner Jerry Jones, left, can now point out how his Cowboys are worth $1.5 billion and Daniel Snyder's Redskins are only worth $1.4 billion.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones, left, can now point out how his Cowboys are worth $1.5 billion and Daniel Snyder's Redskins are only worth $1.4 billion. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 14, 2007

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 13 -- With the New England Patriots facing disciplinary action for using video equipment to steal defensive play signals from the New York Jets last weekend, some Philadelphia Eagles players said Thursday they wonder if they might have been cheated out of a Super Bowl title three seasons ago.

The Eagles lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots by three points to conclude the 2004 season. Safety Brian Dawkins said he doesn't know if the Patriots used improper tactics in that game, but he does question if what he regarded then as superb halftime adjustments by the New England coaches actually were something else.

"I was giving them a whole bunch of credit for making halftime adjustments. . . . It's troublesome," Dawkins said. "I don't know how different to say it -- it bothers me."

Dawkins said it would bother him to find out that the Patriots used sign-stealing methods in that game that violated NFL rules.

Said Eagles reserve safety Quintin Mikell: "They probably were [stealing signs]. But you can't do nothing now. They're not going to give us a trophy."

Coach Andy Reid avoided the subject, and quarterback Donovan McNabb took a lighter approach.

"Maybe we can get our ring back," McNabb said. "Maybe we can get the real one."

Dawkins said he wasn't particularly surprised when the accusations surfaced.

"People are going to try to get edges," Dawkins said. "From the beginning of sports, people try to get edges. I'm not saying cheating is okay. But let's face it, it's going to happen. "

Most Valuable Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys wrested the title of the NFL's most valuable franchise from the rival Redskins, knocking Washington off the top of the list for the first time in eight years, according to Forbes magazine's annual survey.

Thanks to a new $1 billion stadium set to open in 2009, the Cowboys' value increased by 28 percent -- by far the largest jump among NFL teams this year -- to $1.5 billion. They climbed from third to first in the rankings, leapfrogging the Redskins ($1.467 billion) and the New England Patriots ($1.199 billion).

The new stadium added about $350 million to the Cowboys' value. . . .

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited injured Bills tight end Kevin Everett in a Buffalo hospital Thursday. Goodell spent about a half-hour with Everett and his mother, along with Bills General Manager Marv Levy. Everett suffered a life-threatening spinal cord injury during Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. He has regained some movement in his legs and his doctors said Wednesday they're guardedly optimistic that he might walk again. . . .

The Jets reportedly will go with Kellen Clemens as their starting quarterback Sunday against Baltimore. . . .

Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in hopes of playing again this season.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company