The fact that the Dallas Cowboys will be playing the Washington Redskins this Sunday has to have even some long times fans of both teams scratching their heads. Mainly because of the timing being so immensely crucial. This may as well be a playoff game for both teams. With the New York Giants running away with the NFC East, to the cluster of Wildcard teams in the NFC, the loser of this game can practically say good bye to their 2008 dreams.
Tony Romo and Felix Jones are arriving just in time for Dallas. Romo appears to be fully recovered, and Jones says he is ready to go. What remains to be seen is if the Cowboys will block well for Romo, or if Jones will finally get an increased role in the offensive scheme. The Cowboys still have a few issues in their secondary, but the talent is more than good enough to do the job from here on out. Consistency is the key for this group, as it is for the play on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Romo's abilities should increase the workloads of Terrell Owens and Roy Williams. If this happens, as expected, then opponents with truly have their hands full. Factor in Jason Witten, and even Martellus Bennett, and you can see a plethora of options available at Romo's disposal. That passing threat should open holes for Marion Barber and Felix Jones, as well as the underneath dump passes to them. Jones is especially dangerous in these situations.
The Redskins have a few good things going for them. Their offensive line has finally stayed healthy, and are amongst the best in the NFL. Jason Campbell has been spectacular at quarterback, despite being in his 5th offensive system in 5 years. There are problems that bode well for Dallas. Clinton Portis is "50-50" as of now, due to an ankle injury. He is having his best season with the Redskins, thanks to the offensive line known as "The Dirt Bags". If Portis cannot go, there is a question of his backups. Ladell Betts is trying to say he can go with a bad knee, but Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn isn't as sure about his status as Betts is. If Betts is out, then the Redskins will be down to just Rock Cartwright and a washed up Shaun Alexander. The Redskins need the run to set up the pass. Tight End Chris Cooley is the Redskins best option in passing situations, and should see double teams if the run game is failing. The Redskins defense has played above expectations, but are still dealing with issues in their secondary. Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot have been very good as the starting Cornerbacks. Shawn Springs, the son of Cowboys great Ron Springs, should be ready to play as a extra defender, which will be crucial against the Cowboys excellent aerial assault. Newly acquired DeAngelo Hall may even need to be used in certain sets. Laron Landry has been playing hurt at Free Safety all year, so rookie Strong Safety Chris Horton will have to continue and be a pleasant surprise against Witten if the Redskins want to be effective. Whomever controls the line of scrimmage should be in the victor in this battle.
This is another game that deserves its place in the legendary series between these two teams. Each team will have their seasons on the line from here on in, so it is succinct it begins with them facing each other. Both teams have a habit of killing each others dreams. From Ken Houston stopping Walt Garrison inches from the end zone in 1973, which put the Redskins into a first place tie with the Cowboys, to the winless Cowboys defeating the undefeated Redskins, one of the greatest teams in the last 20 years with their record setting offense and 2nd overall ranked defense, in 1991. The road has a habit of running these two franchises head on at the most crucial of junctions. Any real fan of either franchise wouldn't want it any other way.