(2-1, 0-1 away)
(2-1, 1-0 home)
8:30 PM ET, September 26, 2011
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
The Dallas Cowboys have yet to win a home opener in their new stadium, and could be in for a major challenge to try to change that.
Dallas (1-1) has opened the first two seasons at Cowboys Stadium with losses to the Giants two years ago and Chicago last year. Romo has two touchdowns and five interceptions in those games.
The much-maligned former Pro Bowler was criticized after two late critical turnovers in a season-opening 27-24 loss to the Jets. He silenced some of those detractors by returning despite a fractured rib and evidence of having a collapsed lung to rally Dallas to a 27-24 overtime win at San Francisco last Sunday.
Romo was hit hard on the game's opening drive. He left before halftime for treatment and was replaced by Jon Kitna before returning in the final minute of the third quarter, throwing for 201 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"I think he's doing fine," coach Jason Garrett said. "He got knocked around a little bit on Sunday, but he's getting his rehab and hopefully he'll be ready to play for this ballgame. We'll take it day to day, the next few days."
The Cowboys may be forced to surround Romo with some backups. Miles Austin reaggravated a hamstring injury after three touchdown catches Sunday, running back Felix Jones sustained a shoulder injury and starting center Phil Costa reinjured his right knee.
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall is eager for the opportunity to add to the pain and discomfort Romo and Jones already are enduring.
"Absolutely. I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs -- I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it.
"If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hats on that team as possible."
Dez Bryant was inactive against San Francisco after not practicing last week because of a bruised thigh.
Garrett refused to be specific about the extent of the injuries and is giving his team an extra day off this week to get ready for Monday.
Washington has opened 2-0 for the first time since 2007. The Redskins rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final 5:17 for a 22-21 win over Arizona last Sunday.
"A year or two, we would have taken an 'L' because we didn't know how to finish," linebacker Brian Orakpo told the Redskins' official website. "This year, we're growing as a team, guys are playing together. Guys don't want to give up on each other, and everybody has each other's back."
This trip to Dallas will bring back some good memories for Rex Grossman, who replaced Donovan McNabb as Redskins starter last year for a 33-30 loss Dec. 19. Grossman completed 25 of 43 passes for 322 yards -- his second-highest career total at the time -- and four touchdowns to rally Washington from a 20-point deficit.
"It's going to feel pretty similar to me," Grossman said. "That was a pretty important game for me, as is this."
The Redskins have lost four of their last five meetings with the Cowboys, and Grossman is excited about his second start in this NFC East rivalry after he went 3-1 against Green Bay as a starter for Chicago.
"Any time you are in a rivalry game kind of like the Bears-Packers, Cowboys-Redskins, it's one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL," Grossman said. "It's a very important game for both teams so it adds a little bit more adrenaline, a little bit more excitement, Monday night football, so it's going to be a fun day."
Grossman will be trying to avoid DeMarcus Ware, who leads the NFL with four sacks after the linebacker led the league with 15 1/2 in 2010. Ware had two of the Cowboys' five sacks of Grossman in the last meeting.
Dallas cornerback Terence Newman has yet to see action this year due to a groin injury.
The Redskins' secondary, meanwhile, will receive a boost since safety LaRon Landry is expected to make his season debut after being out with a hamstring injury.
"Don't calm me down. Let me go," Landry said. "Untame this beast, man. It's been a while."
Washington's last 3-0 start was in 2005, also the last year it won a playoff game.
"To be able to get off to a 3-0 start would be huge," Grossman said.
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Recent Blog Posts
|Avg Points Allowed||17.7||22.3|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||WSH|
|Rush Yds Allowed||WSH|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Dallas leads 15-7|
|Dec 19, 2010||WSH 30, @DAL 33|
|Sep 12, 2010||WSH 13, DAL 7|
|Dec 27, 2009||WSH 0, DAL 17|
|Nov 22, 2009||WSH 6, @DAL 7|
|Nov 16, 2008||WSH 10, DAL 14|
|Sep 28, 2008||WSH 26, @DAL 24|
|Dec 30, 2007||WSH 27, DAL 6|
|Nov 18, 2007||WSH 23, @DAL 28|
|Nov 5, 2006||WSH 22, DAL 19|
|Sep 17, 2006||WSH 10, @DAL 27|
|Dec 18, 2005||WSH 35, DAL 7|
|Sep 19, 2005||WSH 14, @DAL 13|
|Dec 26, 2004||WSH 10, @DAL 13|
|Sep 27, 2004||WSH 18, DAL 21|
|Dec 14, 2003||WSH 0, DAL 27|
|Nov 2, 2003||WSH 14, @DAL 21|
|Dec 29, 2002||WSH 20, DAL 14|
|Nov 28, 2002||WSH 20, @DAL 27|
|Dec 2, 2001||WSH 14, DAL 20|
|Oct 15, 2001||WSH 7, @DAL 9|
As Ed Werder reported on PTI, the Cowboys are likely to call more run plays in an effort to protect Tony Romo. While the Cowboys have only surrendered 3 sacks, they might need more from their running game. Through 2 weeks, over 87 percent of the Cowboys total yards have come through the air, the highest rate in the NFL.[+]
Protecting Romo? - Cowboys This Season
ESPN Stats & Information