Dallas' Rivalry is Skins Deep !!!
Posted on: September 28, 2011 8:07 pm
The rivalry between the Redskins and Cowboys has spanned 50 years and the hatred between the two NFC East foes still resonates with the teams'current rosters.
NFC East foes face off Monday on national TV
Growing up in Carrollton, Texas, Anthony Armstrong became well-versed in the magnitude of the rivalry between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.
Although he had an entire bedroom devoted to the support of his beloved Cowboys, he didn't spend an inordinate amount time focusing his disdain on the team that he'd eventually play for. With the Redskins, of course, he's learned that in Washington, there is no opponent more important.
"It seemed like in my time, it was more about the teams that you were playing to go to the playoffs," the 28-year-old wide receiver said. "It was anybody in the NFC East, and then everybody else. The 49ers and the Packers were the big rivals because you were playing those guys to go to the Super Bowl. Getting up here to D.C., I started realizing that the Redskins/Cowboys rivalry is the most important two games of the year."
Top NFL rivalries
Cowboys vs. Redskins
Series record » Cowboys lead 60-40-2; Redskins own the only two postseason victories
Was born when » The Cowboys came into the league 1960. Redskins owner George Preston Marshall was unhappy about adding a Dallas expansion team, so Cowboys owner Clint Murchison Jr. bought the rights to the Redskins' fight song from the composer, who was feuding with Marshall, to gain leverage.
Steelers vs. Ravens
Series record » Steelers lead 21-13, including 3-0 in the playoffs
Was born when » In 2002, when the NFL realigned into eight divisions of four teams. The Steelers and Ravens both landed in the AFC North and have claimed a share of all but one of nine division titles since, six for Pittsburgh and two for Baltimore.
Packers vs. Bears
Series record » Bears lead 92-84-6; split playoff games 1-1
Was born when » In 1921, making it the NFL's longest rivalry. Remarkably, the teams have only met in the playoffs twice, most recently in last season's NFC championship, won by Green Bay 21-14, en route to a Super Bowl title. Their sole previous postseason meeting came in 1941. The Bears won that game 33-14, also capturing the NFL title.
Jets vs. Patriots
Series record » Jets lead 52-51-1; Patriots lead in playoffs 2-1
Was born when » Coach Bill Parcells defected from the Patriots to the Jets in 1997 after taking New England to Super Bowl XXXI, although the AFC East rivals first met in 1960. Parcells' replacement in New England: former Jets coach Pete Carroll. Parcells' assistant with the Jets: Bill Belichick.
Raiders vs. Chiefs
Series record » Chiefs lead 55-46-2, including 2-1 in the postseason
Was born when » The Chiefs and Raiders were both 12-2 in 1968 and met in the playoffs with a berth in AFL championship game on the line. Both teams were dominant in the late 1960s and began the 70s with a bench-clearing brawl in a 17-17 tie secured by George Blanda's 48-yard field goal with eight seconds left.
As the two longtime foes prepare for the first of their two annual regular-season encounters on Monday night, their rivalry couldn't be healthier, as it resonates in much the same way it has since the Cowboys were formed in 1960.
"It goes back before I was born or even knew about football. There's something to be said for that," said Redskins tackle Chris Chester, who has been involved in what might be the NFL's most intense current rivalry, between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Despite the Ravens' season-opening 35-7 blowout of the Steelers this year, the two AFC North contenders have gone to overtime three times and met in the playoffs twice since 2005, including in the 2008 AFC championship.
"I enjoy all of our games -- I like watching Steelers/Ravens," Redskins fullback Darrel Young said. "That's a dog fight. Those guys are just out to kill each other. I think we have more respect in our division than those two teams."
Mutual regard has long been important to the steepest of rivalries. Curly Lambeau lent money to George Halas during the Great Depression to keep the Bears going, and in the 1950s, Halas raised money for the publicly owned Packers, whose bigger current adversary could be Minnesota. At least, that was the case when Brett Favre defected.
"It used to always be Green Bay and Detroit on Thanksgiving Day," said Evan Weiner, author of "The Business & Politics of Sports." "Rivalries come, rivalries go."
At the current pace, the Packers/Lions meeting this Thanksgiving could be the most meaningful matchup between those teams in decades. But while it is a game that will be watched nationwide, the strength of the NFL's best rivalries still lies in their divisional nature.
"Being a Giants fan growing up -- I can't stand them now, personally -- you're a part of all that stuff," Young, a New York City native, said. "New York is so big into its sports, and it was a big rivalry. I just feel like it had to do with anyone they played in the NFC East, it's the strongest division."
Weiner, who does college lectures on the business of sports, once heard it suggested on the radio that Baltimore would be a better fit in the NFC East. He polled students that he spoke to in Philadelphia.
"I said, 'Who's your most hated rival?'?" Weiner said. "If it's Redskins week, it's them. If it's the Giants, it's them. If it's the Cowboys, it's them. That's six of the 16 weeks they're playing against the teams that they hate. You drop out the Cowboys, there'd be a lot of lives that would be empty in Philadelphia."
The same goes for Washington.
"I think Cowboys/Redskins is something that's in your blood," Armstrong said. "When you're in the organization, you're a part of it and don't really have a choice. You get here and they say, 'Just beat Dallas.' I don't know if you get to the Jets and they say, 'Just beat New England,' or if you get to the Ravens and they say, 'Just beat Pittsburgh.'?