The rivalry between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys is one of the most bitter in all of professional sports. It is a bitterness that can trace its origins to the days before there was even an NFL franchise in Dallas and both Clint Murchison and Lamar Hunt were trying to bring professional football to north Texas. There are many stories from the early days that have been shared in these pages. We have discussed things like Washington Redskins bandleader Barnee Breeskin and how he sold Mr. Murchison the leverage he needed to eventually bribe Redskins owner George Preston Marshall into voting to allow a fanchise in the Lone Star State. We have also learned of the shenanigans pulled off by a group of businessmen who called themselves the Dallas Cowboys Chicken Club. One thing we have not discussed is how this great rivalry is viewed from inside the enemy camp.
Former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jason Hatcher signed with the Washington Redskins during the offseason. Now Hatch, who has never been known to mince words, is giving Cowboys fans a view from the other side of the fence. Sure there have been many who have gone from one team to the other in the past, but none have opened up like Jason Hatcher is willing to do as the big game looms on the horizon.
"I'll tell you what, they hate Dallas more than Dallas hates us over here. They really hate Dallas." - Jason Hatcher
That should tell you something right there. Many of the old timers who have bled blue and silver since 1960 maintain a special hatred in their hearts for the team that represents the nation's capitol. Those of us who are the off-spring of that generation have been programmed with the same bias. I find it a challenge to believe that a greater loathing could exist, but I have not known of Hatcher to lie either, so I will take him at his word. I can see how this rivalry could mean even more to the current generation of Redskins fans. After all, Dallas has dominated the series in recent years and they hold a 22 game advantage in the all time series record.
Hatch tells us more:
"Everywhere you go -- grocery store or whatever -- these guys, they're hard-nosed fans. They know their players. It's all you hear wherever you go, man. Facebook, Twitter, whatever you're on. They hate Dallas. They got signs up everywhere down here. It'll be great for the fans to experience a great Monday night game with a big rivalry. It's great for the fans.'
That is something I would not doubt. Any group of fans who are willing to put on pig snouts and wear dresses (on the men) to go to a football game are clearly devoted to their team. I don't question their fanhood, just their taste in teams. That kind of devotion to the team is good for football and good for the rivalry. With that love of team running strong in the enemy camp, plus the five plus decades of loathing that have already been festering on both sides, this is one rivalry that is likely to continue for many years to come.
Perhaps Coach Gruden can get Washington on the right track again and Jason Garrett can maintain the success he is now having with the Dallas Cowboys. It would be nice to see the twice a season meeting between the two NFC East foes mean something to the entire league once again. When the Redskins and Cowboys get together, it is only appropriate that the fate of the professional football world should hang in the balance.
As for Hatch, he knows that it comes down to business. His responsibility is to provide for his family and once his contract in Dallas expired both sides had to go in different directions. There are no hard feelings on his side. He is happy for the success his former teammates are now experiencing.
"I understand how hard it is to win in this football league, man. I was there with those guys, and I know what kind of work they put in, and it's finally paying off for them. I don't wish nobody bad in this league at all, because I understand how hard it is to win. So I'm happy for those guys."