1st, NFC East

What: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys, today, 1 p.m., Texas Stadium, Irving, Tex.

TV/Radio: WTTG-5, WBFF-45, WJFK-FM-106.7, WBQB-FM-101.5, WPLC-FM-94.3,

WKIK-FM-102.9, WAGE-1200, WNAV-1430, WFMD-930.

Line: Cowboys by 1.


1. Contain Emmitt Smith.

The Cowboys, minus WR Michael Irvin, would love to control the game on the ground and keep the ball away from Washington's offense.

2. Stop the Rocket.

When the Cowboys do throw, they have only one big-play receiver, so the Redskins almost certainly will give special attention to speedy WR Raghib Ismail.

3. Exploit the other cornerback.

The Redskins' offense has been terrific this season at finding one cornerback to pick on, so why throw anywhere near Deion Sanders when Kevin Mathis or a less-than-100-percent Kevin Smith will be on the other side of the field?


The Redskins rolled up 504 yards in the teams' season-opening meeting, Sept. 12. The Cowboys still are without suspended DT Leon Lett, but CBs Deion Sanders and Kevin Smith have returned since the opener, which they missed because of injury. Sanders probably will be assigned to WR Michael Westbrook, which could leave some openings for WR Albert Connell and TE Stephen Alexander. QB Brad Johnson threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, and RB Stephen Davis ran for 109 yards and two scores.

Key Matchup

Redskins WR Albert Connell vs. Cowboys CB Kevin Mathis

Connell had 137 yards receiving in the opener (to go with Michael Westbrook's 159), and his speed, Johnson's accuracy and Westbrook's presence across the field are combining to make his first season as a starter quite productive.


Veteran Brian Hansen takes over for the injured Matt Turk as the Redskins' punter. His assignment will be to punt the ball away from Sanders, or kick it too high for Sanders to make a return. Johnson replaces Turk as the holder for K Brett Conway. Cowboys K Richie Cunningham missed 2 of 3 field goal tries Monday night in a loss to the Giants, and is 3 for 8 on the season. P Toby Gowin has a net average of 31.7 yards per punt.