Despite biting cold and gusty winds, quarterback Joe Theismann and his Redskin offensive teammates put on a fine show yesterday during their first practice for Saturday's NFC title game against Dallas.

Theismann's passes cut through the wind and were repeatedly caught despite the frigid conditions. "I threw pretty well considering," Theismann said. "My receivers are too skinny or too short to be bothered by the wind anyway.

"When it's cold like this, the biggest problem is concentrating. Everyone is freezing and trying to stay warm. To be able to do what we did out there means everyone has their head into this week already."

Even though he was wearing gloves, Charlie Brown had a series of acrobatic catches. "I don't want to wear gloves during a game," he said. "Only in the most extreme conditions, like below zero. You have to suck it up this week. Everyone is excited and we're all working hard."

Halfback Nick Giaquinto: "A big key to this game is being mentally prepared. To do that, you have to practice hard in adverse conditions like these. It carries over from day to day."

As a precaution, four players had limited practice work: tackle Joe Jacoby (sore shoulder), guard Russ Grimm (sore knee) and defensive ends Mat Mendenhall (sore knee) and Dexter Manley (sore leg).

"I think they'll be okay for Saturday but we wanted to go slow with them today," Coach Joe Gibbs said.

Another defensive lineman, Perry Brooks, took his first practice work since injuring his knee and leg against Dallas in early December.

"The coaches wanted me to test it and see how it responds," said Brooks, who is on injured reserve and can be activated only if another player is removed from the roster. "It feels pretty good right now; I'm happy with the way it is. But we'll have to see if it's sore tomorrow. If it holds up, I'd be ready to play Saturday if they want to activate me."

Since Brooks has been out, Darryl Grant has started in his spot and has done a good job, according to his coaches.

Joe Washington ran more frequently in practice than he has been able over the last few weeks . . . Gibbs said the Redskins were aware Dallas used defensive tackle Randy White as a linebacker occasionally Sunday against Green Bay. "He played some outside linebacker against us," Gibbs said. "It's something you have to work on." . . . Gibbs said he thought Washington is helped by the fact "we don't have to travel, we are playing on a grass field and we are playing in front of our fans. We like being home".