Not Dead Yet

IRVING, TX. - To listen to the reports coming out of Washington, the Redskins might as well not even show up for Sunday's home game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Media and fans alike in the nation's capital are painting such a picture of doom and gloom that it seems that the normal intensity reserved for such rivalry games will make no difference.

Running back Clinton Portis and wide receiver Santana Moss -- the two most dangerous playmakers in Washington's arsenal -- are hobbled by injuries. Quarterback Mark Brunell also has missed practice time with a sore elbow, and if media reports and fan-driven websites can be believed, not only is injured, but also old, slow, weak-armed and nearly devoid of any recognizable football skill.

Redskins fans might believe the world is ending soon. Washington media wonks might believe Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs has forgotten everything he once knew about the game. Many seem to think that owner Daniel Snyder feels he owns a fantasy football team.

Perceptions of the fans and media can't be controlled. But the Cowboys don't believe for a second that the Redskins are nearly as incompetent as their 2-5 record might suggest.

The Cowboys, however, believe the reports of the Redskins' demise are grossly premature.

"They'll be ready," defensive end Chris Canty said. "Those guys (Moss, Portis, Brunell, etc.) -- they'll be in there. I expect them to play, and play well. They're coming off a bye week, so they've had time to heal up.

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