For 51 years the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins have met in the NFL regular season. Between the two teams 27 combined division titles and eight Super Bowls have been won. Many people refer to it as one of the top rivalries of all time. With the history and the combined success of both franchises that statement would be hard to argue with.
It has been a bit of a one-sided rivalry however as the Cowboys have been fairly dominant in the meetings between to two teams – the all-time record is 60-38-2. Last season the two teams split the games though both in dramatic fashion.
The first game was emphasized by a horrible dump off pass from Romo to Tashard Choice that would be fumbled and returned for a touchdown by Dante Hall as the first half expired and a late holding call that would negate a touchdown pass from Romo to Roy Williams basically costing the Cowboys the victory. The second game was even more dramatic as the Cowboys would lead 20-7 at halftime and 30-14 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Shockingly Rex Grossman would bring the Redskins all the way back to tie the game at 30 a piece before David Buehler would give the Cowboys a 3 point lead with only minutes left. The victory for the Cowboys would be sealed when Terrence Newman would intercept Grossman in the closing seconds of the 4th quarter.
Last year’s two games are essentially a microcosm of what the Cowboys – Redskins rivalry is all about. When one team is favored and expected to win, often times they do not. For example on November 24, 1991, the 6–5 Cowboys handed the then unbeaten 11–0 Redskins their first defeat and their only defeat at home that season, 24–21. In that same year the Redskins would go on to win the Super Bowl while the Cowboys would miraculously go on to finish with an 11-6 record.
In 1979 with the NFC East Division Championship on the line for both teams Roger Staubach pulled off a 4th quarter miracle and led the Cowboys to a 35-34 victory. In 1989 the Cowboys only victory of their pathetic 1-15 season would come against the Redskins at RFK Stadium, 13–3. This loss would eventually prevent the 10–6 Redskins from making the playoffs for the second straight year.
So what should we expect Monday when the Cowboys and Redskins renew a 50 year-old rivalry? Basically we should all expect the unexpected. Jesse Holley might be celebrating on the sideline for 3 straight days as he actually reaches the end zone on a 75+ yard touchdown reception. Rex Grossman might throw for 400+ yards and 3+ touchdowns. DeMarco Murray might rush for over 200 yards – the point is whatever you think is going to happen is probably wrong. After all, history has clearly taught us all otherwise when it comes to games between the Cowboys and Redskins.