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There is really no point in recounting and rehashing the futility that the Redskins have experienced against the Dallas Cowboys in the course of their domination—there's no other word for it—of the Redskins over the past 15 games. Some games have been close, some have been routs. In some, the Cowboys' star players have come through in the clutch, in others it's been obscure players shining in key moments. Sometimes the Redskins have had better talent and/or a better record, sometimes the other guys have. Barry Switzer, Steve Spurrier, Bill Parcells, Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Gibbs, Dave Campo, it hasn't mattered.
The Dallas Cowboys have been the Washington Redskins' daddy.
The Dallas Cowboys have owned the Redskins like a rented mule (or something like that).
All that, however, has nothing to do with Monday night's matchup. It's not 1999, it's not 2001, it's 2005. The game will come down to offense vs. defense, blocking and tackling, strategy, game plans and the like. The past will not matter a whit.
It doesn't matter they will have the induction ceremony for
Dallas Hall of Rings or whatever it is for Aikman, Smith, and Irvin at
halftime. That's something for the fans and the press. If the
And, speaking of the Tuna, his eight-game winning streak against Joe Gibbs will buy a gallon of gas if it's accompanied by about three bucks. It means zilch.
Both teams are adjusting to new schemes and new players.
For their part, the Redskins have made the
seemingly-contradictory moves of installing a big-play passing offense while
reinstalling Mark Brunell as the starting quarterback. They racked up a
respectable 325 yards but no touchdowns in their season-opening 9-7 win over
Neither is an elite team, neither is awful. Overall, these
two teams are a lot like the others in the muddled middle of the NFL. They both
have some strong points and some weaknesses. The two quarterbacks both are past
their primes. Brunell vs. Drew Bledsoe would have been a marquee matchup in
1998; in 2005 it's misplaced in prime time.
The game is a coin flip and it could well come down to which
running back performs better. Clinton Portis is more the proven commodity, with
over 4,000 rushing yards to his credit in three NFL seasons. And, after holding
Jones' 57 yards rushing (in 22 attempts) in the teams' second meeting last year was by far his lowest output of the nine games he participated in. In the other eight games he played in during his injury-shortened rookie campaign he never gained fewer than 80 yards. And don't try to say that he was wearing down after a long NFL season—he hung 149 yards on the Giants in the season finale the next week.
If Jones gains 57 yards on Monday, the Cowboys will lose.
Should Portis put up just 2like he did in
So who will it be? Which back will lead his team to a win and a 2-0 start to the season?
Last year the policy in this space was that there would never again be a prediction that the Redskins would beat the Cowboys until such time that the Redskins actually did beat them. But, keeping with the theme here that what's in the past is irrelevant, the final will be:
Washington 17, Dallas 16