Each Sunday, one of the best, most important matchups on the field often goes unnoticed. The battle between a quarterback's blind side tackle and the premier pass rusher on the defense shapes the course of a lot of games.
So when Mike Shanahan made Oklahoma left tackle Trent Williams his first draft pick with the Redskins last year, No. 4 overall, there's a pretty good chance he was thinking about weeks like this, and the test it will be to block one of the league's best rushers, DeMarcus Ware.
The Cowboys are moving Ware around a lot more this year under Rob Ryan, but just wait, in some of the most crucial passing situations of the game he'll be lined up across from Williams. Whoever wins that matchup could very well determine who wins the game.
Ware had three sacks against Washington last year, when Williams was a rookie, but is expecting the young tackle to improve.
"He still has that same athleticism, but he's a lot smarter now," Ware said. "He knows where he fits in the scheme, he doesn't make many mistakes. He's a great player, one of those long-time tackles."
With Ware locked up in a long term contract, and Williams in just the second season of his rookie deal, with a bright future, it's a battle that could be waged 10 or 15 times in the coming years.
The very direction of the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry will be in a lot of ways determined by whether or not Williams can handle Ware. The 23-year old blocker has at least an idea of what he needs to do to slow down the league's leading sacker.
"Just be consistent and focus on ever play, not get lazy," Williams said. "Because he can capitalize on your mistakes real fast, and that's just the type of players he is - smart ... I haven't really seen anything that he has problems with, so like I say, I think he's one of the best in the league and it's going to be a great challenge."