Coach Jack Pardee fired the first salvo of Cowboy week yesterday, declaring that his Redskins "are going to beat" Dallas Sunday in RFK Stadium.

Pardee, who acknowledges that he hates the Cowboys with a deep passion, brushed off the Redskins' showing this season against another NFL powerhouse, Pittsburgh, as meaningless when talking about Dallas.

"Denver got beat worse than we did by Pittsburgh and look what they did to New England -- they annihilated them," Pardee said. "You can't be affected by the past.

"We're going to beat Dallas. I like our matchups against them and I like playing in RFK Stadium against them. Our record at home against the Cowboys is pretty good."

Pardee planned to spend some time last night watching the Dallas-Philadelphia game on television, but he was not certain if he could see the whole contest. Nor was he sure which team he wanted to win.

"Either way, it doesn't really matter," he said. "We have to determine our own fate. We have to keep winning and if we do, it doesn't matter what the other teams do.

"I think it's going to take 10 wins now to make the playoffs. Yes, nine may be able to dot it, but maybe someone with nine wins will be sitting home come playoff time too.

"This is especially important because it's a divisional opponent. If you beat your teams within the division and the conference, then you are helping yourself."

It didn't take Pardee long to focus on the Cowboys. Asked when he first thought about them on Sunday, he initially said as soon as Mark Moseley kicked his game-winning field goal over the Cardinals. Then he back-tracked. k

"No, we still had to play defense. It was as soon as the gun went off, that's when I started on them. Did I mention them to the team in the dressing room? You bet. I said, 'The Cowboys are next.' That's all you have to tell them about this week."