The Washington Redskins, having dispensed with the New Orleans Saints, 31-17, yesterday, now turn their attention to a Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas -- their shortest work week of the season.

Coach Joe Gibbs gave his players today off, and said that when they return on Tuesday he's not sure how much or how little they'll practice. The Redskins traditionally use the two days after games to recover.

"I don't know how we'll handle it," he said. "We've done this only once before since I've been here and I don't remember the game."

Gibbs likely will have a brief practice on Tuesday and an even briefer one on Wednesday before flying to Texas. Most of the work this week will be mental, and his players said that should be enough.

"Coach Gibbs might not want to hear this," defensive end Charles Mann said, "but I don't believe at this time of year you need a bunch of practice. We'll get the game plan {on which Gibbs and his coaches worked through the weekend}. After that, it's a matter of doing a lot of skull work. We'll have to take some films home and be ready." Winning Words

The Redskins said that Gibbs's midweek meeting in which he blistered his team for the way it played against the Eagles had helped. "It looked like it did, didn't it?" Mann said. "You have to commend him for it. He just wanted us to see that the time is now to start playing. We don't have time to waste . . ." Big Day for Byner

Byner broke a long silence with print reporters, saying of his 116-yard game: "We figured they'd come out keyed up on the run, and that's what they did. We passed the ball until we had some room to run, and then we made some plays. It must have been a good scheme."

Byner's 26 carries are the most by a Washington back this season. He and Gerald Riggs have split time, but Riggs's injury gave Byner the job on a full-time basis. Byner's top game had been 17 carries in Week 1. The biggest workload for a Washington back was 21 by Riggs two weeks ago in Detroit. Koch Has Pinched Nerve

The Redskins reported only one injury, defensive end Markus Koch, who suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder. It's not believed to be serious . . . Byner is the first runner to gain 100 yards against the Saints since former Packer Brent Fullwood gained 125 in Week 2 last season . . . The Redskins hadn't intercepted two passes since Week 3, which also is the last time Darrell Green had one . . . With guard Mark Schlereth (ankle) and wide receiver Joe Howard (concussion) on the two-man inactive list, the Redskins had three quarterbacks in uniform (Mark Rypien, Jeff Rutledge and Gary Hogeboom) for the first time this season.