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Redskins-Cowboys GameDay Preview

09.26.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

REDSKINS (2-0) @ COWBOYS (1-1)

Dallas Week is here! The Redskins renew their longstanding rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football tonight at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex. Kickoff is 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Redskins are 1-0 in the NFC East, having beaten the New York Giants 28-14 at FedExField in Week 1. They defeated the Arizona Cardinals 22-21 last Sunday.

This is the first NFC East game for the Cowboys. They lost to the New York Jets 27-24 in Week 1 and defeated the San Francisco 49ers 27-24 in overtime in Week 2.

Monday night's Redskins-Cowboys matchup marks the 103rd time the two clubs have played since their storied rivalry began in 1960. The two teams have played at least twice a year each regular season since 1961, with the exception of the strike-shortened 1982 season.

Dallas leads the all-time series 60-40-2, with victories in 20 of the last 27 games.

The Redskins and Cowboys have played 14 times on Monday night, with the series tied at 7-7. The Redskins have faced Dallas on MNF more than any other opponent.

The last time the Redskins and Cowboys played on MNF was on Sept. 19, 2005. The Redskins won 14-13 with a memorable fourth-quarter comeback sparked by Santana Moss's two touchdowns.

KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Redskins pass protection will be tested in Dallas. The Cowboys, using a more aggressive scheme this year under new defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, lead the NFL with 10 sacks in two games. Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware already has four and fellow linebacker Anthony Spencer and defensive end Jason Hatcher have two each. Left tackle Trent Williams renews his matchup against Ware, while right tackle Jammal Brown handles Spencer.

2. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff, a three-time Pro Bowler, has given the Redskins’ fits for years. Against Washington, he has compiled 35 tackles and five sacks since he entered the league in 2005. On Monday night, center Will Montgomery is expected to match up against Ratliff, although he'll likely get some help. A natural center, the 6-3, 310-pound Montgomery has made strides but the 6-4, 287-pound Ratliff is a significant test.

3. Last year, the Redskins contained Cowboys tight end Jason Witten in the Week 1 matchup, limiting him to three catches. Fourteen weeks later, Witten caught 10 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. The Redskins mostly assigned one of their inside linebackers -- either Rocky McIntosh or London Fletcher -- to cover Witten last year. If strong safety LaRon Landry is available to play, then he could give defensive coordinator Jim Haslett another option in covering Witten.

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