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Forget the Jaguars; think Skins

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Bradie James is enforcing the 12-hour rule, which is the oldest cliché in the NFL football book. Well, not really. I think - you can't win if you commit costly penalties and turn the ball over - is the oldest one in the book. Whatever, the point is - forget about last week, except when you can learn from it.

"I think we gave those guys confidence," cornerback Aaron Glenn said. "When you give teams confidence like that it makes it harder, especially when you're playing on the road. I think one lesson we have to learn out of this is when we have people down, we should go ahead and try to put the nail in the coffin."

Hallelujah, that's what I'm talking about.

But in the spirit of the 12-hour rule, let's start talking about the Deadskins. This game is important, I mean really important. NFC divisional game, at home, against your biggest rival, with the possibility of 0-2 on the horizon. The Cowboys have to come through on Sunday, or the bye week will be hell week.

If the Cowboys need any additional motivation, this ought to do it.

The Cowboys were 4 ½ minutes away from improving to 2-0 last year against Washington, but Mark Brunell's two deep touchdown passes to Santana Moss lifted the Redskins to a shocking 14-13 victory at Texas Stadium. Washington wound up sweeping the season series with a 35-7 win on Dec. 18.

Ugh, how many times have we talked about that game?

The Deadskins come in with their own wounds to lick. While Dallas went on the road and played an AFC playoff team from a year ago with a 12-4 record; the Skins lost, at home, to a NFC team. That rates as a much worse loss than ours. The strength of the team, the defense, gave up an embarrassing number of 3rd down conversions.

The Vikings' offense converted 9-of-17 third downs, while the Redskins were just 4-of-13 Monday, something Bill Parcells would love to emulate on Sunday. Minnesota also won the time of possession battle, controlling the ball nearly three-and-a-half minutes longer than Washington.

Wow, that's over 50% on 3rd down. But I can tell you one thing, our secondary better cover better this week than it did last week.
If the Cowboys are going to avenge the two embarrassing losses to Washington last year, they're going to have to cover Moss. In Washington's comeback win a year ago, the Redskins' offense looked completely inept until it got touchdown passes of 39 and 70 yards from Mark Brunell to Moss in the final 3:46. In the late-season blowout Moss had 73 receiving yards, though 'Skins tight end Chris Cooley picked up the pace, catching three of Brunell's TD passes. The Cowboys need to get more pressure on Brunell if they're going to shut down the Redskins' passing. They'll be in good shape if they can force Washington to run since Clinton Portis will likely still be favoring the shoulder he injured in the preseason.