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Reality Of Rivalry With Cowboys Settling In

The showdown with the Cowboys looms this weekend as the Redskins head to Dallas and AT&T Stadium on Sunday for their first of two meetings this season with their rivals.

BY ZAC BOYER

ASHBURN – When Barry Cofield first joined the Redskins prior to the 2011 season, he quickly gained an idea of the nature of the team’s rivalry with the Cowboys.

“It’s taking me a couple of years to really understand,” Cofield said. “I’ve had people tell me that they don’t care if we lose every other game as long as we beat Dallas twice, which sounds crazy to me. It just gives you a glimpse into the mindset of the fans.”

There have been countless memorable battles between the Redskins and the Cowboys over the years – Roger Staubach’s comeback in 1979, the NFC Championship game in 1982, Mark Brunell to Santana Moss in 2005.

The Redskins won 38-31 in Dallas last year, a Thanksgiving game in which Robert Griffin III threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, and then were victorious in the final game of the season, a 28-18 home victory that gave them their first NFC East title since 1999.

Moss said the players will try to downplay their excitement during the week, but as soon as they arrive at the stadium, they’ll know there’s a difference.

“You can’t really sit here and worry about the game, what the game gives you,” Moss said. “But come game day, come when you step out on the field, you can just feel a different vibe.”

Though the Cowboys lead the all-time regular-season series, 62-40-2, a victory on Sunday would mark the first time the Redskins have won three consecutive games since a four-game stretch from 1987 through 1989.

“When you talk about rivalry and that type of pride, as much as the players want to treat it like every other week, you want to just do your job,” Cofield said. “You have to accept the fact that it means more to the fans. We’re going to carry that with us down to Dallas. We’re going to prepare this week, we’re going to fly around in practice, have a great week and go out there and leave it all on the field and hopefully for Redskins Nation, we can get a win.”

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