Under the lights and in front of an international audience, one of the all-time great rivalries in all of sports kicks off on Monday night.
There’s nothing quite like a bitter rivalry, especially one against “America’s Team”. If Dallas is America’s Team what would their storied rival the Redskins be? I shudder to think. Owner Daniel Snyder has already been portrayed as the devil, so perhaps the Redskins are the “Devil’s Team”. Considering the Redskins already wear dark blood red burgundy and the Cowboys have stars emblazoned on their helmets, maybe this isn’t such a long shot. If this is the case, it looks like I’ll be dusting off the old Van Halen debut album and rocking to “Runnin’ With The Devil” all weekend.
Dallas is still favored to win on Monday, despite the bodies in blue and gray piling up. Receiver Miles Austin has been ruled out and counterpart receiver Dez Bryant is nursing a bruised thigh and man-jewelry debt. Running back Felix Jones is dealing with a separated shoulder but will probably play in a reduced roll. Dallas’ offensive line underwent an overhaul after the lockout lift and has been struggling to stay healthy ever since. Last but not least is John Wayne himself: Redskin killer and movie-star Tony Romo. Tony-boy’s got some cracked ribs and punctured his lung in last week’s overtime victory in San Francisco. What a hero.
Beating Dallas in Dallas is never an easy feat, regardless of who’s able to dress themselves. The Edward Jones Dome will be filled to capacity, with 110,000 Cowboys fans and their open containers and their sweat-stained undershirts on belching as loud as they can (and I won’t even mention the men). Despite the numerous injuries, the Cowboys still posses their greatest threat in DeMarcus Ware. One of the best in the business Ware has already notched four sacks in two games and leads a Dallas fourth-ranked defense that’s allowed 59 yards per game on the ground. The fact that I can respect how good a football player Ware is despite being a Cowboy says it all.
Tony Romo versus Rex Grossman: Over-hyped against under-appreciated. Grossman’s been to the Super Bowl, but Romo acts as if he won one. Tony has been the quarterback of one of the NFL’s most talented teams for his 6th straight season and all he’s only delivered one playoff win. Romo gets the on-field credit for dismantling Parcells’ rejuvenated Dallas squad, but Jerry Jones deserves the credit from the luxury-box. I’d thank them both, maybe when Romo greets me at Walmart I’ll get the chance. “Hi, I’m Tony, welcome to Walmart, can I help you with anything?” “Thank you Tony.”
Times frequently change for Washington and Dallas, alternating years of dominance and mediocrity, although the battles are frequently decided by a only a couple of points. This year is much different than 2010, when Washington began anew with Mike Shanahan and Dallas put an abrupt end to the Wade Phillips era. It now looks like the Redskins are the team on the rise and the Cowboys might’ve missed their golden opportunities to bring Lombardi back to Dallas. It could be another tight game on Monday night, especially if the Redskins continue to stall in the red zone, but don’t be surprised if Washington runs up the score on a beaten up and battered Dallas team. After all, Dallas always deserves a nice shot in the mouth and a kick in the ribs.