Cowboys - Redskins Preview & Prediction

Other than getting WR Terry Glenn some snaps for the first time this season -- which might keep QB Tony Romo in the game a bit longer than expected -- the Cowboys' main priority is to get out of the game healthy.

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET

GAMEDATE: 12/30/07


SERIES: 96th meeting. Dallas leads the series, 56-37-2. The Cowboys have beaten the Redskins more than any other team in the league. They have faced just one team (the Eagles, 96) more times than they have the Redskins.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Other than getting WR Terry Glenn some snaps for the first time this season -- which might keep QB Tony Romo in the game a bit longer than expected -- the Cowboys' main priority is to get out of the game healthy. They'll likely run the ball a lot, give their starters a few series and then turn the game over to the backups and see what happens. ... Win and they're headed to the Northwest for a wild-card game next weekend. To get there, the Redskins will see if they can establish RB Clinton Portis early to take the thorns out of the Dallas pass rush. QB Todd Collins isn't mobile, but he has been particularly effective when able to work off play-action and his accuracy to hit receivers in stride has been a boon for WRs Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El.

KEY INJURIES: Cowboys: Owens (high ankle sprain) is out; C Andre Gurode (knee sprain) is unlikely to play; CB Terence Newman (toe/knee) might sit. Redskins: QB Jason Campbell (dislocated kneecap) is out; FB Mike Sellers (concussion) is uncertain.

FAST FACTS: With a win, Dallas would set a new franchise record for wins in the regular season. ... Portis needs 142 yards for his fifth 1,300-yard rushing season.

COWBOYS PERSONNEL NEWS: --RB Brandon Jacobs (ankle, hamstring) worked fully in practice Wednesday and Thursday and shrugged off any suggestion that he will not be able to play. "This one is important, man," he said. "I know we can't do anything about our position (fifth-seed in the playoffs) but I sure don't want them to do this undefeated thing on our field."

--Head coach Tom Coughlin decided late Tuesday night that he would go "all out" to try to win the game, rather than rest his starters, especially those with minor injuries. "It's no different than if this was the third or fourth week of the season," he said. "We prepare for each of our games the same way. I don't know how else we could have gotten ready for this game. And yes, of course I am aware of the historical significance of what the Patriots are trying to do."

--P Jeff Feagles was momentarily injured last week vs. Buffalo, and that caused several moments of panic in the mind of K Lawrence Tynes. Feagles is his holder. "He's the best one I've ever worked with," Tynes said, "and nobody was happier when he stood up." Feagles, a 21-year veteran, had merely suffered a bruise on his thigh.

--QB Eli Manning, aware of the importance of the Saturday night game, nevertheless is also considering his options for the first playoff game, the following weekend in Tampa. "It will be nice to play in good weather," he said, "but we won't even think about that until we play this game as well and as hard as we can."

--RB Ahmad Bradshaw, one of two seventh-round rookies, exploded last week with a 17-carry, 151-yard performance. "It is the kind of impact we hoped Ahmad would provide us when we drafted him," said coach Tom Coughlin, who confirmed that Bradshaw will see considerably more work -- and touches -- from now on.

REDSKINS PERSONNEL NEWS: --OL Pucillo, who had missed four of the past eight games with a tender lower back, was placed on injured reserve on Thursday. Offensive lineman Kevin Sampson, who had been on the roster from Oct. 20 to Nov. 28 without seeing action, was promoted from the practice squad to replace Pucillo. Offensive lineman Calvin Armstrong was signed to the practice squad for the third time to take Sampson's spot.

--TE Todd Yoder practiced for the first time since aggravating a cartilage defect in his right knee in the Dec. 16 victory over the Giants.

--QB Jason Campbell remains sidelined with a dislocated kneecap.

--LB Khary Campbell practiced on Thursday after dislocating a finger last Sunday at Minnesota.

--FB Mike Sellers, who left the Vikings' game with a concussion, practiced on Thursday.

--SS Reed Doughty, who aggravated a shoulder burner at Minnesota, practiced on Thursday.

INSIDE THE WASHINGTON CAMP: When the Washington Redskins won their final five games in 2005 to reach the playoffs, safety Sean Taylor helped lead the way with 35 tackles, a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He returned the latter for a touchdown to seal the playoff-clinching victory at Philadelphia.

Two years later, the Redskins are trying to finish an even more remarkable comeback by trying to win their final four games and make the playoffs in part to honor Taylor, who was murdered last month in his Palmetto Bay, Fla. home.

"We're playing for Sean and the only way to honor him is to keep winning," said defensive end Phillip Daniels.

According to Daniels, Taylor's Dec. 3 funeral -- the day after Washington's fourth straight loss, gave closure to his teammates, all of whom were in attendance.

Running back Clinton Portis, Taylor's closest friend in the locker room and the only Redskin to speak at the service, said that day was a turning point for Washington which is 3-0 since.

"Once we got our angel situated in heaven, he gave us all the strength in the world," Portis said.

Portis, who dresses next to Taylor's Plexiglas-encased locker, said he's getting tired of all the media questions about his late friend. However, assistant head coach/defense Gregg Williams, who carries a coin with Taylor's picture on it in his pocket, said that his star's death has forged rare chemistry at Redskin Park.

"We all care a bit for more each other because you don't want to turn down an opportunity to find out more about a teammate, a player or a coach," Williams said. "In a way that none of us ever wanted, Sean's death has brought us a little bit closer."

PREDICTION: Redskins 24-23

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