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Redskins-Cowboys GameDay Preview

11.18.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

WEEK 11: Cowboys (5-4) vs. Redskins (3-6)

The Redskins renew their longstanding rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Nov. 20 at FedExField. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET. The Cowboys' 5-4 record puts them in second place in the NFC East behind the New York Giants (6-3) while the Redskins' 3-6 mark ties them for last place with the Eagles.

The Redskins are 2-2 in home games this season but have not won at FedExField since Week 2. The Cowboys are 1-3 in road games.

Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys matchup marks the 104th 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 61-40-2, with victories in 21 of the last 28 games. In Week 3 earlier this year, the Cowboys prevailed 18-16 on Monday Night Football at Cowboys Stadium.

The Redskins and Cowboys have clashed twice in the postseason, with Washington winning both meetings: 26-3 in the 1972 NFC Championship Game and 31-17 in the 1982 NFC Championship Game

KEYS TO THE GAME

All About Rex

Rex Grossman is back as the Redskins’ starting quarterback – just as he was in Week 3 when the Redskins and Cowboys faced off for the first time this season. That game, Grossman completed 22-of-37 passes for 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Redskins have to try to establish the run this Sunday, but it won’t be easy. The Cowboys, ranked 11th in run defense this year, yielded just 65 rushing yards and 3.0 yards per carry in the Week 3 matchup. So the Redskins may have to rely on Grossman and a short-to-intermediate passing game to move the football against Dallas.

Demarco Who?

When Washington and Dallas faced off in Week 3, no one wondered how the Redskins’ defense would fare against rookie running back DeMarco Murray. He had just two carries for six yards in the game. Now it appears Murray has supplanted Felix Jones as the Cowboys’ top rushing threat. He has rushed for 674 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Overall, the Redskins are ranked 18th against the run, allowing 120.4 yards per game. Murray, at 6-0 and 227 pounds, has been described as a hard runner who identifies holes quickly and has good speed.

Hall vs. Bryant

The defining moment of the Redskins’ 18-16 loss to Dallas in Week 3 was the much-discussed 3rd-and-21 play late in the fourth quarter. The Redskins led by a point when quarterback Tony Romo eluded a blitz and threw a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was one-on-one with DeAngelo Hall. A face-mask penalty on Hall made it a 45-yard play and set up the Cowboys’ game-winning field goal. For the most part, Hall contained Bryant in Week 3. Bryant has the size and speed to be an elite receiver in the NFL. He has 32 catches for 516 yards – an impressive 16.2 yards per catch – and leads the offense with five touchdown catches.

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