WHAT: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 20, noon (CT)
WHERE: FedExField, Landover, Maryland
SERIES: Cowboys lead series, 60-40-2
Match-Up Worth Watching:
! Defending the tight ends. The Cowboys' Jason Witten and the Redskins' Chris Cooley present matchup problems for both sets of linebackers and safeties. In last December's home win over Washington, Witten had 10 catches for 140 yards and one touchdown and became the fastest tight end ever to 600 career catches. Cooley had 11 catches for 142 yards and one touchdown in two meetings last year. Both are excellent pass-catching tight ends; too fast for most linebackers, too big for most safeties.
Redskins' Draft Review:
The top of Shanahan's 12-pick draft was a clear effort to upgrade the defense. The Redskins drafted Purdue pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan in the first round and Clemson defensive end Jarvis Jenkins in the second. Third-round wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and fourth-round running back Roy Helu add some youth, size and speed to the offense and could develop into future starters.
Lacking clairvoyance, we won't try to predict the outcome of the Week 3 game at Cowboys Stadium (assuming labor issues don't cancel it). Instead, let's look at the teams' final 2010 clash, a 33-30 Cowboys home victory. The Cowboys allowed 30 points for the fourth straight game, and Rex Grossman - yes, that Rex Grossman - became the fifth different quarterback with at least three touchdown passes against Dallas. The Redskins' second-half surge put pressure on the Cowboys' offense to keep scoring. Witten led the way with a game-high 10 catches for 140 yards and a score, becoming the fastest tight end to 600 career receptions (125 games). With two minutes left, backup quarterback Jon Kitna (25-of-37, 305 yards, 2 TDs) drove 31 yards to set up David Buehler's winning 39-yard field goal, his second in three games.
One To Remember:
! Nov. 16, 2008: Billed as "Romo Returns" on Sunday Night Football, the Cowboys' Pro Bowl quarterback returned from a three-game absence and fractured right pinky finger to lead Dallas past the Redskins at FedExField, 14-10. Romo shook off two first-half interceptions and some early rust to complete 19 of 27 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he helped the offense re-establish the downfield threat that disappeared with backups Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger. Marion Barber balanced the attack with 24 carries for 114 yards, including the game-clinching first down on fourth-and-1 with 1:08 remaining. And the defense, aided by the return of starting cornerback Terence Newman (sports hernia), held Washington to 228 total yards and essentially shut down its offense after a game-opening touchdown drive.