The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins have been trading barbs and blows for decades but now, as the latest chapter in a bitter rivalry unfolds on Oct. 13 at Dallas Stadium, both teams are below the .500 mark while remaining very much alive in a weakened NFC East. With Robert Griffin III rounding into shape after offseason surgery and Tony Romo coming off a career game in last week's loss to the Denver Broncos, quarterback play should be at a high level in the Sunday night clash. The victor will grab an inside edge in winning the division, but who will win? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.
Riley: I like how Washington has looked in the second half of both of the last games. The defense hasn't been the atrocious unit that critics were introduced to in the opening weeks of the season and Griffin has looked a lot more comfortable after playing cautious in the opening weeks of the 2013 season. And while Washington's defense has looked better, the opposite holds true for the Cowboys' stop unit. They've gotten progressively worst in their last few outings and the makings of a big night for the Redskin offense are in place after last weekend's bye gave the team some more time to gel.
Green: One thing that the Dallas offense showed me last week is that they're clearly one of the top units in the league. You would be hard pressed to find more collective offense talent than the Cowboys other than the team that squeezed by them 51-48, the Denver Broncos. I like how Romo has been facilitating the offense and when you're talking about two teams with suspect defenses, then obviously the better offense should be favored. And with the game being in Dallas, the Cowboys have a chance to break even on their record at 3-3 as they get ready for the meat of their schedule.
Riley: Talent isn't the thing that's lacking in Dallas so the stars surrounding Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten aren't anything new when discussing the Cowboys. One week they look like the best unit in the NFL and the next week they look like one of the worse. We spend so much time hyping the Dallas Cowboys that we tend to forget that based upon their record over the last few years, Dallas is barely a standout as a middle of the pack team. Romo is destined to make a mistake at a critical juncture while the defense is liable to give up a big play. Washington has the momentum and I expect them to exercise it on Sunday night.
Green: I never touted Dallas as a team that should be in a class by themselves but they are nevertheless a talented team regardless of what their record over the last few years says. And if we're judging by previous performances then we should definitely keep Washington's past exploits in strong consideration for this game as they're more likely to blow a game than win it. In the prime lights in front of a pro-Dallas crowd, it's hard not to pick the home team. Especially when the home team just put up 48 points on one of the better defenses in the league. And if anybody wants to know what the Redskins did in their last game, they were busy squeaking past the lowly Oakland Raiders 24-14. Sorry, Riley, I'll take my chances with the favored Cowboys.