If the Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium, it'll be only the fourth time that a Joe Gibbs-coached team has won its first two games against division opponents.
There seems to be a correlation between winning those early division games and doing well down the stretch.
The Redskins have won their first two division games only three other times. In two of those years -- 1982 and 1987 -- they went on to win the Super Bowl.
In the six seasons they haven't done it, they missed the playoffs four times.
The big exception was 1983 when they split their first two division games but made it to Super Bowl XVIII, where they lost to the Raiders.
The Redskins opened this season with a victory over the Phoenix Cardinals before losing at San Francisco on Sunday.
Gibbs announced on Monday that he was locking reporters out of practice for at least two more weeks. That move emphasizes how important he believes it is to go into the newfangled off week (Oct. 7 weekend) in their NFL schedule with a 3-1 record.
"We really have to be 3-1," he said. "One of our problems has been losing too many games early and not being able to catch up at the end."
After playing the Cowboys, the Redskins go to Phoenix. Following their bye in Week 5, they must play the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles twice each in a five-week stretch. New Block on the Kid
Gibbs on 49er Charles Haley coming up the middle to block a Chip Lohmiller field goal early in the second half: "That's one of those things you work and work on. You do it right 20 to 25 times, bust a gut every time.
"Then the one time you don't do it, it haunts us."
Lohmiller said he had never had a field goal blocked.
It was his first miss inside 30 yards since the final game of the 1988 season. Better to Give . . .
Yesterday was a productive off day for receiver Gary Clark.
After the Redskins (and this department) refigured their career receiving totals, Clark had 350 regular season receptions and is alone in fifth place on the team's all-time receiving list. He's behind only Art Monk (671), Charley Taylor (649), Jerry Smith (421) and Bobby Mitchell (393).
Clark leads the 1990 Redskins in both catches (10) and yards (181). Meanwhile, Ricky Sanders has moved ahead of Roy Jefferson and into ninth place on the all-time Redskins list with 213 receptions.
Lachey Rues the Day
Tackle Jim Lachey on Sunday's 26-13 loss to the 49ers: "I think we should be upset with ourselves. We know we had a chance to win and we didn't get it done. We didn't get beat, we just didn't get the job done. We'd like to have another shot to play them. I think we all feel they gave us our best shot; we didn't play our best. We could have done a few other things and come out on top."
The Idle, the Busy
Guard Mark Adickes, who started 48 consecutive games for the Kansas City Chiefs over a four-year stretch, has been an inactive Redskin the first two games. . . . The 49ers originally credited safety Todd Bowles with seven tackles. After looking at the films, Redskins coaches credited him with a career-high 18. He had four against the Cardinals. . . . John Brandes leads Washington with five special-teams tackles. He led the Colts in '89 and predicted he'd lead the Redskins.