IRVING, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys' bus pulls into Lincoln Financial Field Sunday, two things are certain: Philadelphia Eagles fans will extend their middle fingers and eggs will pelt the bus' windows.
It's a rite of passage.
"The fans are very passionate there," coach Jason Garrett said. "I think anybody who has ever played or coached there understands that. We've been going there for a long time. They love their team. It's a challenging environment to play in, challenging back in the days of The Vet and certainly challenging now at The Linc. When you're opposing team, you have to go in there and you have to be your best mentally."
The Cowboys have not been afraid of the road under Garrett. Since he took over as the interim coach midway through the 2010 season, the Cowboys are 21-15 away from AT&T Stadium. They were 8-0 last year, the only undefeated road team in the NFL.
They will walk into Lincoln Financial Field Sunday with an NFL-best nine-game road winning streak, dating back to 2013. The Carolina Panthers have the second-longest streak at three games. A win Sunday would equal the franchise record for road winning streaks. In 2006-07, the Cowboys won 10 in a row away from home.
The Cowboys have won six straight NFC East games on the road, tying the Indianapolis Colts for the second-longest road winning streak in a division. (DESK NOTE: If Denver loses tonight at KC then it would be tied for the longest streak) Is it tougher to play in Washington, New York and Philadelphia or Jacksonville, Houston and Nashville?
The Cowboys have won three straight games in Philadelphia.
"I think being on the road and having success there is a lot to do with your mindset, your mentality and your mental toughness," Garrett said. "And hopefully your team is built a certain way that you can handle some of the conditions that you deal with on the road. I think if you do those things at a high level: you have the right mindset, you have the right mentality, you have the right mental toughness and you have a team that can handle the different conditions whether it's crowd noise or weather or some of the circumstances you have to deal with, I think you have good chance of winning on the road.
"It's a challenge though. But it's a challenge to win every week. One of the things we try to emphasize to our team is that it really doesn't matter where you play and who you play, it's about us focusing on being the best versions of ourselves."
The Cowboys' average margin of victory away from home last year was 11.75 points, a staggering number, but they were able to overcome several moments of adversity.
The Cowboys trailed the St. Louis Rams 21-0 in the first half, highlighted by an interception return for a touchdown, but rallied to win 34-31. It was the second-largest non-overtime comeback in team history.
They became just the second team to hand Russell Wilson a loss at CenturyLink Field after overcoming a 10-0 deficit and poor special teams' play. The key play was a toe-tapping sideline catch by Terrance Williams in the fourth quarter on third and 20 to set up DeMarco Murray's game-winning touchdown.
They beat the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium with a late Tony Romo touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 1:01 to play to cap an 80-yard drive. Rolando McClain ended the game with a tackle of Rashad Jennings on fourth and 2.
In their trip to Philadelphia last December, the Cowboys saw a 21-0 lead turn into a 24-21 deficit in the third quarter. They responded with back-to-back touchdown drives to take a 35-24 lead in a 38-27 win that all but clinched the division title.
But that was last year and Garrett has attempted to wipe everything about 2014 out of his team's memory.
"Coach Garrett talks about the winning way a lot and what the formula for winning is," tight end Jason Witten said. "I thought we executed really well on the road last year. But that is over with. You got to recreate that with the way you play. There is nothing better than a road win. They are always hostile environments and you have to execute at critical times.
"We did a good job of that last year we to go prove that this year."