Stirring Up The Pot

never sounds good . . . .

So did Bledsoe have to prove something to a guy like Keyshawn Johnson in that opener? "I don't think that Drew should worry about proving anything," Keyshawn said. "The fact that our head coach brought him in, in the first place sealed that deal." And another one from Keyshawn, who certainly isn't helping to get the Cowboys-Redskins pot boiling by saying, "I just play football. I don't care about the Redskins . . . the Oilskins, whatever. I just play football." . . . .

OK, so if we have to stir the pot, how about remembering back to Dec. 9, 1984, when the Cowboys-Redskins game was called with 24 seconds remaining after a brawl broke out at the end of a 30-28 Washington victory when Cowboys corner Ron Fellows lambasted Skins quarterback Joe Theismann, who, for the second time, acted as if he was going to kneel and then got up to run around a little more to keep the clock running. Remembers Fellows, "I said to him, 'Now get up and do it again.'" Well about that time, Skins offensive lineman Mark May grabs little ol' Fellows, which provoked Randy White to grab May. Sumo wrestling, Round 1. And as the two were being pulled apart, Cowboys defensive end John Dutton remembers White screaming at May, "Meet me in the parking lot after the game." Ah, the days when boys would be politically incorrect boys . . . .

So this 91st meeting between the Cowboys and Redskins will be a matchup of Thirtysomething quarterbacks - the 33-year-old Bledsoe vs. the turning-35-on-Saturday Mark Brunell, named by Gibbs on Monday to replace Patrick Ramsey as the starter. Some might think the Cowboys are catching a break, but all I know is, Brunell completed 25 of 43 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns last year in the Cowboys' narrow 21-18 victory over Washington on Monday night at FedEx. Gibbs was probably more disgruntled with Ramsey's two turnovers in three possessions before leaving with a strained neck than he was enamored with Brunell's three field-goal drives in the Skins' 9-7 victory over the Bears . . . . The Skins had to go back to 1992 to find the last time they won a game without scoring a touchdown, beating Minnesota, 15-13 . . . .

Speaking of quarterbacks, former Cowboys QB Anthony Wright gets another chance to start in Baltimore after Kyle Boller suffers a hyperextended big toe in the opener and is expected to be out three weeks to two months. Some are rejoicing in Baltimore, and some players think Wright outplayed Boller during the preseason. Wright, though, has been there before - and with the Cowboys - but always loses out to how much the other guy makes and the fact he's entered the league as an undrafted QB . . . . Remember, Wright went 5-2 as a starter in 2003, and led the Ravens into the playoffs when Boller went down. Shoulder surgery cost him all of last year . . . .

So we're one game into the season, and media types already are trying to psycho-analyze Parcells instead of taking it for what's it worth. Most thought on Monday after the season-opening victory he was being grumpy on purpose to set a tone for the week. Or that he was genuinely unhappy with his team. Wrong on both accounts. As he told the players, just go look at the film. Also, as he would say walking to his office Monday afternoon, "I'm tired. Didn't sleep for more than two hours last night. My eyes hurt." Sounds good to me. Probably watched too much special teams tape, and from the sounds of things, just to help his coverage units, wouldn't be surprising if he either changed guys out, changed up who he dresses come Monday night or even makes some changes to his 53-man roster for the sake of special teams . . . .

And now, one last chance to stir that Cowboys-Redskins pot that used to boil over twice a year, every year until, oh, about 1998 or so - probably about the time the Cowboys went on this ridiculous run of beating the Skins 14 of the last 15 times during a span (1997-2004) they themselves only had two winning seasons (1998, 2003): This from former Washington tackle Jim Lachey, who just about sums up what this rivalry was all about in the day by saying eight years ago when we wrote America's Rivalry, "If you grow up in metro Washington, your grow up a diehard Redskins fan. But if you hate your parents, you grow

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