NFC East: Clint Longley
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
- Tim Cowlishaw of ESPN's "Around the Horn" and NASCAR coverage says this feels like a trap game against the Redskins on Sunday. He thinks the rivalry has lost its sting, and he's probably right. But I'm still not sure how this is a trap game. Do we really have to worry about the Cowboys looking ahead to next Sunday's Bengals game? This series might lack the passion it had in the '70s and '80s, but it's hard to imagine the Cowboys not being emotionally ready to play an important division game.
- Did you know that Redskins receiver Santana Moss has 33 catches for 602 yards and four touchdowns in six career games against the Cowboys? Clarence E. Hill has the story in the Star-Telegram.
- Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News has a story on the most expensive decoy receiver in football.
- The first nonfootball event at the Cowboys' news stadium has been booked. Join me in welcoming the FBI National Academy Association to Arlington -- in 2012.
- It looks like former first-round draft pick Anthony Spencer will be ready to play Sunday. No, I'm being serious. And after a month with the team, it looks like guard Montrae Holland is ready to contribute. You've heard scouts say players are good in space. Holland has been good at taking up space.
- Brian Davis of the DMN has a fun story on how Redskins coach Jim Zorn began his playing career in Dallas. Zorn couldn't quite beat out Clint Longley, one of the most bizarre individuals I've ever written about. Could Zorn have eventually beaten out Danny White? I don't think so, but he certainly had a nice career in Seattle.
- What's this? Another Montrae Holland story? It seems that Montrae is still studying that tricky playbook.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Partly because the NFC East has been together so long (forget the Cardinals), it has the best rivalries in the league. If you ask this question in Philly, you'll automatically hear Eagles-Cowboys, but the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry has deeper roots.
Cowboys coach Tom Landry and Redskins coach George Allen helped make this such a special game that the rivalry remained even when both teams went through rough periods. Former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach will still tell you that he hates the Redskins, and at the center of it all, was Allen. The Cowboys once rented out an entire floor of a hotel because it was next to their practice facility. Landry and GM Tex Schramm were convinced that Allen had placed spies in the building.
Former Cowboys Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters once told me that Landry asked players to stop practicing any time he saw helicopters flying above. Allen loved causing the paranoia. At one point, he claimed that he had seen a Cowboys scout hiding in a tree during practice.
On the field, the two teams played some unforgettable games. Perhaps the most famous was when a rookie named Clint Longley replaced an injured Roger Staubach on Thanksgiving Day 1974 and threw two touchdowns in the second half, the last with less than a minute left, to beat the Redskins, 24-23. It was less than two weeks after the Redskins had beaten the Cowboys, 28-21, at RFK and it only added to the rivalry's lore.
Now, I'm anxious to hear what you consider the biggest rivalry in the division. Do the Giants, Eagles and Redskins all view the Cowboys as their biggest rivals? Let me hear from you.
Intensity Index: 2 (It's not as heated as it was in the 1970s and 80s, but it still packs a punch).