Washington-Dallas, the best rivalry in football (at least it used to be), takes place this weekend at FedEx Field. This year will have a different feel. Usually, the stands are packed with plenty of fans from both sides but this Sunday they will take to the gridiron in an empty stadium. Even with many new players joining the storied rivalry, they understand the pride factor behind it.
“I do know that some of the Thanksgiving stuff was always pretty good. Just watching that more so than anything else, that always gets your attention and just how big this rivalry is. When you talk to young players, you’re going to tell them: ‘Hey guys, this rivalry is as big as any college rivalry you played in.’ A lot of these guys played in some pretty big ones... But also, more importantly, this is a divisional game. We’ve got to understand to be able to win the division we’ve got to win the division," said head coach Ron Rivera.
The Washington Football Team is coming off a 20-19 loss to the New York Giants in a game that saw Rivera make the decision to go for two instead of the PAT and tie that likely would have sent the game into overtime. Quarterback Kyle Allen had two touchdown passes. One was a short five yarder to Logan Thomas and then a 22-yard dime to Cam Sims late in the fourth quarter. Allen finished with 31 completions for 280 yards, but also the game-losing fumble that New York returned for a touchdown on defense.
The Cowboys are coming off a 38-10 Monday Night Football loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Jerry World. After losing Dak Prescott to a tragic injury, they have been forced to rely on Andy Dalton. He threw for 266 yards, had a touchdown and two picks. Ezekiel Elliott was held to just 49 yards of rushing on 12 carries while fumbling twice. If their offense continues to struggle that's good news for the Washington defense. The sack production has cooled off since 8 in a home opener win vs. Philadelphia, but Washington still ranks in the top 10 in the NFL with 2.7 sacks per game.
West Coast kid Kyle Allen will be one player experiencing the Dallas-Washington rivalry for the first time. He will be thrown right into it on the field.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch many of them growing up as a kid. I’m a west coast kid. So, I didn’t see many... But I think this Dallas game is big in that fact. I think for us, this division is so tight right now and it’s very volatile. I know we’ve been in a tough position and we’ve lost some in a row, but it’s all in front of us. I think we’re hopeful this week, we’re working hard this week and it’s going to be a really good matchup," said Allen.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and you can catch the game on FOX.