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Sunday, October 13, 2013
Welcome to AT&T Stadium

By Todd Archer

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Welcome to AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys take on the Washington Redskins in a crucial NFC East matchup.

The Cowboys (2-3) have lost two straight games and the Redskins are coming off their bye week after their first win of the season. In order to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles the Cowboys will have to beat Washington.

The last time these teams met the Cowboys lost their second straight de facto NFC East title game, dropping a 28-18 decision at FedEx Field to finish 8-8 for the second straight year.

Rekindling the rivalry: Last December’s game could go a long way to re-establishing a rivalry that has largely been among the fans -- and not the players -- because their on-field successes have been minimal in the past 15 years.

Most of the players are unaware of the feelings the Cowboys had toward George Allen, Joe Theismann and even Joe Gibbs. They don’t know about Harvey Martin throwing the wreath in the locker room.

“A lot of people are asking you, ‘Who’s your biggest rival?’” coach Jason Garrett said. “I think all the division games, since I’ve been around, they’re great rivalries. You think about the Cowboys-Giants games, the Cowboys-Eagles games and certainly the Cowboys-Redskins games, these things go back a long, long way. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of it in a couple different seats and I think our players understand. Whether or not they know the history about the different players and the great teams involved, I don’t know that, but I think they understand the importance of it and the significance of it and how the games feel.”

Slowing RG3: The Cowboys were not able to get to quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning the past two games, sacking them just once, and they largely knew where they would be in the pocket.

Robert Griffin III might not be running the way he ran last year, but he can still move.

“It’s all about how you can change with the way the league changes,” defensive end DeMarcus Ware said. “You have Philip Rivers and you have Peyton Manning and now you got a read and react type quarterback who can run but also pass the ball really well, so you have to look at it as your responsibilities. You can’t give guys too many things to worry about when they’re doing all kind of trick ‘em plays and you have to make it simple for them.”

What’s the encore: Tony Romo threw for a franchise-record 506 yards and tied the team record for touchdowns in a game with five in last week’s loss to the Denver Broncos.

Can he replicate the game if not the numbers?

“You want to be able to play games over and over again where you play at a high level,” Romo said. “That is the goal.”

Romo is 6-6 as a starter against the Redskins. In five of his last seven starts against Washington, the Cowboys have not scored more than 18 points. He has completed 273 of 442 passes for 3,093 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has two games with more than 300 yards, three three-touchdown games and four one-touchdown games.