Santana Moss said the Cowboys’ defensive struggles don’t reflect the potential of the unit. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins on Sunday will face a Dallas Cowboys defense that last week surrendered 517 yards  and 51 points to the Denver Broncos.

But the Redskins wide receivers insist they aren’t licking their chops, so to speak, over the prospects of facing such a defense.

Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss watched Sunday’s game between Dallas and Denver and said you have to take one major factor into account when considering how helpless the Cowboys appeared against Denver.

“They’ve got Peyton [Manning]. They’ve got Peyton,” Garcon said with a laugh. Manning’s former Indianapolis Colts teammate added, “If you have Peyton, you’ve got a good chance of beating your defender.”

Said Moss, “I mean, there’s a lot of guys that Peyton made look terrible. They went against Peyton.”

Dallas still has struggled against the pass, regardless of the quarterback the unit has faced.

The Cowboys this season rank 30th in the league in yards allowed (2,046), 31st against the pass (326.4 yards per game) and 22nd in points allowed (27.2 points per game).

None of that matters, however, according to Moss and Garcon.

“Every week is gonna be a different week,” said Moss, who has faced the Cowboys twice a year for the past eight years. “You can’t worry about what happened last week because, like I said, you’re gonna get a little extra from them this week. I watched some of the games. I haven’t watched really their game tape yet. So I can’t critique nothing about them. But we don’t really too much worry about the opponents. We know who we’re facing. We’re facing the Cowboys, period. So at the end of the day, we’re gonna get their best. So I can’t go into the game worrying about what they did against someone else because I’m pretty sure they’re gonna give us their all. And as long as we control what we have, we should be successful.”

The Cowboys do have their strengths. They rank fourth against the run (82.8 ypg), and the Redskins haven’t been able to get their running game going consistently this season. Dallas also has recorded 10 takeaways this season – fifth in the NFC.

And with Washington sporting a different style of offense and cast of players than Denver, offensive success is in no ways guaranteed.

“They’re a good defense,” Garcon said. “They played, but it’s hard to keep Peyton under 20 points. They’ve got a lot of good athletes and they’re a good team. You never know how they’re going to play us because they have a different style of offense. But it should be a fairly even matchup.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m., and both Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan speak with reporters.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

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