You wouldn’t think it would be so unusual, a 2-0 Redskins team heading into Dallas. After all, the Cain and Abel of the NFC East have been knocking helmets for more than half a century.
But a quick check of the historical record reveals that only twice before Monday night have the Redskins been 2-0 or better when they made their annual trip to Texas. Surprising, no?
Let’s not forget, though: Many years, the Redskins played in Dallas late in the season. (Last year, for instance, they met in Week 15.) It’s pretty hard to stay undefeated that long.
Anyway, here are the two previous times a 2-0-or-better Redskins club rode into Texas:
● 1971 – The Redskins and Cowboys were both 2-0. It was George Allen’s first season as Washington coach – and the last game between the teams at the Cotton Bowl. The Redskins won, 20-16, pounding Dallas with running backs Charlie Harraway (111 yards) and Larry Brown (81) and scoring two long touchdowns. They went on to win their first five games and earned a wild-card berth. The Cowboys, on the other hand, caught fire late in the season and won the first of their five Super Bowls.
●1986 – The Redskins were 5-0 and the Cowboys 3-2 when they collided in Week 6. Herschel Walker, in his first year in Dallas, had a huge day, gaining 200 yards from scrimmage (45 rushing, 155 receiving) in a 30-6 blowout. The Redskins rebounded from the loss to make it to the NFC championship game as a wild card. The Cowboys missed the playoffs, though, with a 7-9 mark. Two more losing seasons later, Jerry Jones would be in as owner, and Tom Landry would be out as coach.