4:15 PM ET, December 18, 2005
Dallas (8-5) at Washington (7-6) Sunday 4:15 pm EST
The Cowboys had won 14 of the last 15 games in the rivalry before the Redskins rallied for a stunning 14-13 victory at Dallas on September 19.
Coach Bill Parcells was 77-0 when leading by 13 or more points in the fourth quarter. That was before wide receiver Santana Moss caught touchdown passes of 39 and 70 yards in the final four minutes for the Redskins.
Washington was trailing, 13-0, and facing a 4th-and-15 on the Dallas 39 when Mark Brunell connected with Moss with 3:46 left in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys had a chance to cement the game on the ensuing drive when Drew Bledsoe hit Keyshawn Johnson with a 17-yard pass on 3rd-and-7, but a holding call by tackle Flozell Adams nullified the play and forced Dallas to punt.
Acquired in the offseason from the New York Jets for his big-play ability, Moss burned the Cowboys again with his 70-yard catch with 2:35 to play. He finished with five catches for 159 yards.
The Cowboys have won six of the last seven meetings here against the Redskins, who have not swept the season series since 1995.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder lured Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs out of retirement to help end their struggles against the Cowboys. But Gibbs had lost eight in a row against Parcells before the come-from-behind win in September ended the streak.
Having combined for five Super Bowl titles and seven conference championships, Parcells and Gibbs are two of the NFL's legendary coaches. As coach of the New York Giants from 1983-90, Parcells got the best of Gibbs, winning 11 of the 17 meetings, including a 17-0 victory in the January 1987 NFC championship game.
The Cowboys and Redskins are battling for a playoff spot. Dallas is one game behind the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East and tied with Minnesota and Atlanta for the second wild card spot.
Washington is also alive in the playoff race and hosts the Giants after this weekend's game against the Cowboys.
Re-signed last month after being released, Antonio Brown returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to lead the Redskins to a 17-13 win at Arizona last week. Brown was cut after fumbling a kickoff in the season opener.
Clinton Portis recorded his sixth 100-yard game of the season, gaining 105 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in the win at Arizona. Portis has rushed for 1,184 yards this season. The Cowboys rank 12th in the league against the run after yielding 161 yards on the ground in a 31-28 win over Kansas City last week.
Drew Bledsoe enjoyed perhaps his best game of the season, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. His one-yard scoring pass to blocking tight end Dan Campbell with 22 seconds left lifted the Cowboys to the pivotal win.
Matchup to watch: Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn, who had six catches for 138 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a reverse last week, faces Walt Harris. In the first meeting this season, Glenn caught a 70-yard touchdown pass.
Series: Dallas leads, 54-35-2.
Next week: Dallas visits Carolina, December 24 Washington hosts NY Giants, September 24
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This game features two great head coaches who know how to win in the NFL. Time of possession could prove to be a key element as both teams will attack on the ground to set up the pass and eat the clock. In a game likely to be determined by who makes the fewest mistakes, turnovers and special teams will play an especially important role.
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|Avg Points Allowed||19.1||18.1|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||DAL|
|Rush Yds Allowed||DAL|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Dallas leads 7-3|
|Sep 19, 2005||DAL 13, WSH 14|
|Dec 26, 2004||DAL 13, WSH 10|
|Sep 27, 2004||DAL 21, @WSH 18|
|Dec 14, 2003||DAL 27, @WSH 0|
|Nov 2, 2003||DAL 21, WSH 14|
|Dec 29, 2002||DAL 14, @WSH 20|
|Nov 28, 2002||DAL 27, WSH 20|
|Dec 2, 2001||DAL 20, @WSH 14|
|Oct 15, 2001||DAL 9, WSH 7|