By Lewis Gould
Eagles Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz didn’t have great numbers yesterday:
Four receptions for 28 yards after his ribs were bruised early in the Birds’ 17-9 win over the Cowboys.
But he made a rhetorical contribution Saturday night:
“He told the guys to ‘burn the ships,’” offensive lineman Brandon Brooks said. “And it was just saying, ‘when we go out there, man, there is no Plan B.’ This is the only plan. The only plan is to win. There is no second-guessing. There’s no doubting we’re going to make plays. It’s just pure confidence that, at the end of the game, we’ll come out on top.”
“Burn the Ships” is a famous declaration made by Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes in 1519, when he landed in Mexico with only one objective: seizing the great treasures hoarded by the Aztecs.
That’s why the social media pages of Ertz, Carson Wentz and Greg Ward had references to “burn the ships.” It became a rallying cry for a team facing the biggest game of its season.
They conquered the Cowboys, beating a team that head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday has “had our number here recently and really since my time here in Philly.” And it came with another clutch performance from Wentz, who has never played in a postseason game. Had the Eagles lost, that streak would have remained. Now, the scenario is clear: If the Eagles beat the Giants this coming Sunday, they’ll win the NFC East.
Wentz can still start his first playoff game. Pederson can lead the Eagles into the playoffs for the third time in four years. There was so much at stake on Sunday. The Eagles burned the ships. And they’re still alive — a testament to the coach and quarterback as much as anyone else.
“Doug’s going to keep doing his thing. Carson’s going to keep doing his thing,” left tackle Jason Peters said. “We’re not going to sit there and buy into what everyone else is saying. We ain’t never done it. We’re not going to do it.”