Jamaal Jackson put in a request to his close friend Todd Herremans this morning.
After an MRI examination revealed that his season was over because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the Eagles' center told Herremans, the Eagles' left guard, he still wanted a Super Bowl ring.
"He was real down," Herremans said as he left the NovaCare Complex. "He said, 'Go ahead and make sure I get a ring.' He said, 'You have to lead these guys now. You're the veteran out of all those guys.' "
Herremans was visibly upset about Jackson's loss.
"It's terrible," he said. "I feel awful for Jamaal just because he has worked so hard and he has been so constant and such an integral part of our offense. I feel terrible for Jamaal, but also it has been a big hit to the team to lose somebody that has been so consistent and steady like that."
The timing, of course, couldn't be worse for Jackson or the Eagles. The team is headed to Texas Sunday for a showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. The NFC East title, home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs and a potential bye week are all on the line.
Nick Cole, who replaced Jackson midway through the first quarter yesterday against Denver, will make his first NFL start at center against the Cowboys.
"Nick has played center before and he has always known in the back of his mind that if anything happened like this, that's where he'd have to go," Herremans said. "I think he's ready to take on the responsibility. I think the biggest challenge for us is we're going to have to put in some extra work and get our communication down because we had become so fluid with our communication and obviously something like this disrupts it. But that's what practice is for and we're going to have to get to it."
Max Jean-Gilles will likely remain as the Eagles' right guard against the Cowboys after replacing Cole in that spot Sunday against Denver. Reid said Stacy Andrews is also "in the mix there." It could depend on how the Eagles felt Jean-Gilles played against the Broncos. If something were to happen to Cole, the backup center is now Mike McGlynn, who hasn't dressed for a game this season. McGlynn will dress Sunday and the Eagles will also make a roster move to replace Jackson. Dallas Reynolds is the only guard on the practice squad.
Pro Bowl announcement tomorrow
The NFL will announce the Pro Bowl rosters tomorrow and the Eagles are hopeful that cornerback Sheldon Brown is recognized for the first time in his career.
"I'd love to see him in it," coach Andy Reid said. "I think he deserves to go. Sheldon has had a heck of a year. He's a tough guy. He has proven that over and over."
Cornerback Asante Samuel and defensive end Trent Cole would seem to be the two Eagles defensive players that are locks to be named to the NFC roster. Offensively, left tackle Jason Peters may have the best shot of being named to the roster.
Regardless of who is named today there is likely to be a long list of additions later because the two Super Bowl teams this season will not have players involved in the Pro Bowl, which is being played the week before the NFL title game in Miami, the same site as Super Bowl XLIV. Talk about stupid ideas.