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Winning Sunday, however, is a necessary step. A true contender beats a reeling 1-4 rival on its home field. The Redskins are aware of the opportunity and what it might mean in a few more weeks.

“I’ve been here long enough that I’m a fan and I know how the people here feel,” Cooley said. “We want to make them happy. We want to win football games. I couldn’t imagine anything better as a player than to feel the excitement that we would if we won some more.”