NFC East: rivalry

Best Division Rivalry: Cowboys vs. Redskins

September, 11, 2008
9/11/08
12:00
PM ET

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).

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider