The Dallas Cowboys finally took the big step forward everyone was looking for, as they enter their week 17 clash with the NFC East title firm in their grasp. The Washington Redskins have headed in the opposite direction this year, but after beating the ‘Boys in Dallas earlier this year, they'll still find a lot of meaning in sweeping the season series against their long-time rivals.
While Washington can't make the playoffs this year, this intense rivalry still pumps in the value, bringing Washington Redskins tickets on Razorgator.com to a solid $255 on average, with fans having to pay $83 just to get in the door. That's right on par with Washington's season average, while fans of the Dallas Cowboys can find tickets at roughly $45 less than what they pay in Dallas. For a rivalry game to cap the season in Washington, no one will be complaining about the value to be had in this week's matchup.
With the division completely locked up, some experts suggest the Cowboys should (or will) rest some of their key starters. However, Dallas still has a shot at the number one overall seed, which could mean home field advantage. On top of that, resting could mean a loss on the road, and an 11-5 finish might mean no first round bye.
The Cowboys might be out for some revenge, too, considering the ‘Skins are a hated rival and they came into Jerry World and beat Dallas in a thriller earlier in the year. In fact, Tony Romo was blitzed relentlessly by Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and sustained a back injury in the process. Keeping Romo (as well as DeMarco Murray) healthy for the playoffs has to be a priority, but so is winning this game.
The Redskins, on the other hand, really have nothing to lose in this one. They can take a stab at sweeping a good Dallas team, and if they can accomplish that they'll end the year on a high note with two straight wins. There have been a lot of rumors about head coach Jay Gruden and star quarterback Robert Griffin III, but if they can cap the year with two straight wins over NFC East rivals, they could quiet the masses temporarily.
Colt McCoy beat the Cowboys in the first meeting, but the second meeting will be all about Robert Griffin III. If RG3 can show up like he did last week, the Redskins could end the season strong and gain some nice momentum heading into 2015. Of course, the key to this game should truly be the same key to the last one – Washington's defense. The ‘Skins sacked Tony Romo a whopping five times in Big D last time around and if they can work up that kind of pressure, it could be another long day for Dallas.