- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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LANDOVER, Md. -- As the Washington Redskins prepare to host the Dallas Cowboys at 8:20 pm ET (7:20 pm CT) tonight in the game that will determine the NFC East champion, here's one reason for Cowboys fans to feel good about the game and one reason for Redskins fans to do the same.
Cowboys feeling good: In several key ways, they're in better shape than they were when they lost to the Redskins in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. Running back DeMarco Murray didn't play in that game, and even if he doesn't have a big game tonight his mere presence should allow Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense to run their play-action passing game more effectively. Wide receiver Miles Austin also got hurt in that game, and if he can play the whole game along with the red-hot Dez Bryant, the Cowboys should be able to take advantage of the Redskins secondary. And even though the Dallas defense remains shredded due to injuries, it could well benefit from having already seen Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense once.
Redskins feeling good: What's not to feel good about? The Redskins have won six games in a row including that one over Dallas on Thanksgiving, Griffin's sore knee is getting healthier, they're playing at home in front of a fired-up group of the most intensely passionate fans in the league. ... Washington's been feeling no pain since its bye week. And while the defense could fall apart in any game or at any moment, especially the way Romo and Bryant are playing, it has been able to hold it together just enough during this streak. Griffin inspires extreme confidence that he won't fold under the pressure of the moment, and the Redskins are a team that right now doesn't believe it can be beaten.