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Cowboys News & Notes: Giants Lose Again, Setting The Stage For A Big Monday Night Game

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Latest Cowboys headlines: big Monday night game at Washington; an all too familiar foe; which QB can make enough plays?

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The Cowboys come out big winners on Sunday without taking the field. The New York Jets did the Cowboys a favor by beating the New York Giants. Monday night presents a big opportunity for the boys of Dallas to nudge their way back into the ever-so-exciting NFC East divisional race.

Cowboys Gameday: Dallas looks to stay alive without Tony Romo against Washington - Michael Florek, DMN
A close look at the Cowboys/Redskins matchup.

Redskins using 'bulletin board' material ahead of game vs. Cowboys - Staff, SportsDay
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall felt the need to stick up up the following message in the Redskins locker room:

"They have the BEST Offensive Line in the NFL. ... and the best Left Offensive Tackle."

It's an old rivalry that has huge playoff implication. How much motivation do you need?

"I just felt like we needed to see it," Hall said. "Going into meetings and seeing it, that's one thing. But to be in your comfort zone in the locker room and looking at it, that's a little different. Just a friendly reminder."

DeAngelo should be focusing on one thing and one thing only...and that would be making sure you-know-who doesn't throw up the X.

Experience Vs. Dez Bryant Key For Redskins - Stehen Czarda, Redskins.com
The Cowboys need to find ways to make a big play and Dez Bryant is one of the team's biggest playmakers. But as history has shown, the Redskins have done a relatively good job keeping Bryant from going off.

Only once has he gone over 100 yards against the Redskins (Thanksgiving Day, 2012). Last season on Monday Night Football, Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland, still a relatively unknown rookie even to Redskins fans, played perhaps the best game of his young career, keeping Bryant in check for just 30 yards on three receptions in front of a national audience.

Callahan Has Played Vital Role In Cowboys' And Redskins' Offensive Lines - Jake Kring-Schreifels, Redskins.com
The effects from the Callahan departure is still a great mystery, but it should make for an interesting matchup on Monday night.

Callahan was the offensive line coach for the Cowboys for the previous three seasons and was fundamental in establishing what many believe to be the best O-line in the league. Since he migrated to the Redskins, Washington’s offensive line has gained similar merits while Dallas hasn’t skipped a beat under Callahan’s former assistant, Frank Pollack.

Four Cowboys who must step up as Dallas looks to beat Redskins - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
There shouldn't be much surprise as to one guy who's on this list. All eyes will once again be on the Cowboys backup quarterback to see if he can get it done.

QB Matt Cassel: Nobody who watched Cassel play in recent years should have expected him to be the team’s savior when Romo went down the first time. But Cassel underwhelmed more than expected in a four-game stint, going winless and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the games he started. More time in Scott Linehan’s offense, however, should equate to better play from Cassel this time around — at least in theory.

Cowboys better game plan to slow down Ryan Kerrigan - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Doug Free is going to have his hands full as Bub Sturm points out that the Redskins edge rusher is coming off a strong performance.

Anytime you play Washington, you better plan your pass protection around the idea of slowing down the former first-round pick out of Purdue in 2011. He is relentless in his pass rush and possesses a number of moves that can test any tackle (usually, the right side) on the edge. His go-to move is to dip his right shoulder underneath the tackle and turn the corner with a quick power combination. His production in 2015 has been below his huge year last season, but with two sacks last week against the Giants, he again is Washington's finest pass rusher.

5 stats to keep an eye on during Redskins-Cowboys - Rich Goldberg, CSN Mid-Atlantic
In order to beat the Redskins, the Cowboys defense is going to have to do something that they just haven't been able to do much this season - pick off the quarterback.

Home free- Kirk Cousins has thrown 173 consecutive passes at home without an interception. The Cowboys have forced 7 total turnovers (fewest in the NFL) and Dallas is 1-6 when forcing 0 takeaways this season.

With current nucleus, my guess at Cowboys' Super Bowl window - Jon Machota, SportsDay
The Cowboys playoff chances don't look great, but how is their outlook going forwards? How much sand is left in the hour glass? Jon Machota gives us his best guess.

Question: In your eyes, how big -- if at all -- is the Cowboys' window for a Super Bowl with the current core?

Jon Machota: I'd say two more years. It's a lot like this season. I think there are quality pieces to build around, but Romo has to stay healthy. I don't see them winning much if Romo continues to battle back and shoulder injuries. Give me Romo for a full season and I think the Cowboys would be one of the favorites to make a Super Bowl run. If Romo was healthy for all 11 games this season, I think the Cowboys would be about 8-3, however, the great David Moore just said he thinks it would be closer to 6-5.

If playoffs are still Cowboys' goal, Dallas needs to emulate the 7-8-1 Panthers from a year ago - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
If the Cowboys can beat the best team in the NFC East, then it's reasonable to think they might be the best team in the East, right?

Despite all that has gone wrong in 2015 -- and that would be just about everything -- the Cowboys are two games out of first place. They have two games remaining with the Washington Redskins, the team that has shockingly established itself as the favorite to win this division.

How the Cowboys intend to be a contender, not spoiler, in NFC East moving forward - David Moore, SportsDay
Spoiler alert - Thelma and Louise drove off the Grand Canyon. Sorry if I ruined that for you, but this link about spoilers. It's about contenders. So cue the Rocky music...

"Don't tell me about win, lose, who's in, who's out," head coach Jason Garrett said. "Focus on what we need to do to be our best Monday night."

Manziel or Hardy ... my guess at who's more likely to be a Cowboy in 2016 - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Could the Cowboys go from one controversial acquisition to another? Sure they can. You can't put anything past Jerry Jones. But which of these choices seems more likely?

Question: Who is more likely to be a Cowboy next season? Greg Hardy or Johnny Manziel? Jon Machota: Greg Hardy. He's already in the building. If he finishes strong and stays out of the headlines for the wrong reasons, I think Jerry Jones will want to bring him back. With Manziel, Jones didn't have much support within the draft room, so I don't know why he'd have more support now. But when Jerry is involved, anything is possible. I can't completely rule out the Cowboys trying to get Johnny, but I think it's unlikely.