Wednesday, November 12, 2008
winning at Fed Ex Field
Well the Redskins have lost twice here this season despite their 6-3 record and the fact that they did Dallas on the road. The Rams somehow won here. And the Redskins weren't missing any significant players like when the Cowboys got embarrassed the following week in St. Louis. The Steelers came in and made the Redskins look somewhat bad. And that game was sandwiched between two Pittsburgh home losses. The only thing keeping the Steelers from a suffering a three game skid was their 23-6 win at Fed Ex Field. The Cowboys haven't won here since a Monday Nighter in September of 2004. And aside from a young Jason Witten, I don't know if any of the current Cowboys were even on that 2004 squad. That 2004 wasn't very good. The Redskins weren't good that year either, which was Joe Gibbs' first year in his return stint with the team. That year Philadelphia was a power at 13-3 on their way to the Super Bowl while the rest of the NFC East all went 6-10. Eli Manning was a rookie for the Giants, who were bad too. Now every team in the NFC East is above .500. It's funny how the Cowboys were in this stretch where they beat Washington thirteen of fourteen from 1997-2004, including nine straight at one point. And the Cowboys record in that eight year span was 55-73, with three playoff visits and no playoff wins ofcourse. Since 2005, however, the Cowboys have gone 36-21 but only 2-5 against the Redskins. And twice in that time, Washington has managed to win in Dallas. The Cowboys dropped a meaningless regular season finale last year at Fed Ex field when they were resting players and had the NFC's number one seed locked up. Two years ago, the Cowboys blew out the Redskins in week 2 in Texas, and then blew the game in Fed Ex field in November of that year. The going against the Redskins has been tough these last few years. The Cowboys probably should have won three of those games that they lost to Washington since 2005 but what's done is done. Winning this Sunday will atone for the earlier setback against the Skins and also put the Cowboys firmly in control of their own destiny, which they control. Winning this week will is priority number one. Forget everything else. This team will be locked in and focused. They are due, due to win in Washington for the first time in four years, due to bust out with a couple of game changing big plays, due to have Romo, Felix Jones, Terrence Newman, and Kyle Kosier back, and due to finally resemble at least somewhat, the team that everyone billed them as at the beginning of the year and after their first three games. It's up to them to decide if this can still be the year. Could they get it going and be that team? Maybe like the 2005 Steelers? Or last year's Giants? I know what ended up happening last year, noone saw coming. And in 2005, the talk was about the Colts going unbeaten and for good measure, they soundly defeated a Pittsburgh team that fell to 7-5 and made the Colts 12-0. And a month or so later, the Steelers knocked off the Colts and Broncos and were headed to the Super Bowl. Last year the Giants ofcourse lost twice to the Cowboys who won the NFC East going away. New York only went 3-5 at home. I don't think anyone's ever done that and made the playoffs much less win the whole flippin' thing. The Cowboys have the talent but do they have the leadership? If the Redskins play like they did against Pittsburgh sure Dallas ought to win. But it's an important game for the Redskins too. So they'll be up obviously. And I expect Portis to play. Dallas needs to take away the run. And for hell's sakes, somebody get on Santana Moss and Jam Chris Cooley. And Romo needs to be Romo. Oh, and the Cowboys need to run the ball more than eight times like last time these teams met. Big game. Might as well be a playoff game for Dallas.