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Are You A Hatfield or a McCoy?

Tonight we’re excited to watch the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys.  This is always a good game, always good Monday Night Football, and always exciting.  It seems like it’s always been this way.

The rivalry between the Redskins and the Cowboys goes back to the creation of the Dallas franchise in 1960.  That first meeting saw Washington beating Dallas 26-14.  It has been a barn-burner ever since.

Some say the rivalry of the Redskins and Cowboys goes straight to the owners.  In the 1950’s Texas oilman Clint Murchison was anxious to bring a pro football team to Dallas.  He heard that the owner of the Redskins, George Preston Marshall, was looking to sell, so Murchison made an offer.  Marshall changed the terms of the deal at the last minute and irked Murchison so badly that the deal fell through.

Murchison found a way to create a team with the support of League President George Halas and was on his way.  All Murchison needed was a unanimous vote from the team owners.  He fell one vote shy, one George Preston Marshall.  Murchison had a trick up his sleeve, though:  the guy who wrote the Redskin’s fight song, “Hail to the Redskins”, had a falling out with his boss and had sold the rights to Murchison.  When Marshall found out he decided to allow the Cowboys into the league.  In a final blow, Murchison was able to draft Washington’s star quarterback, Eddie LeBaron.  Marshall forgot to “protect” LeBaron from the draft used to stock up the fledgling Dallas club.

Over the years we’ve seen some great games.  Sonny Jurgensen facing off against “Dandy” Don Meredith.  Jerry Smith and Charlie Taylor trying to outsmart and outrun Bob Lilley and Cornell Green.  A young Darrell Green chasing down Tony Dorsett.

Do you remember the “Scab Game” of the 80’s?  During the NFL strike a team of replacement Redskins beat the Cowboys 13-7.  Dallas had more players cross the picket lines than any other franchise, and the Washington rag-tag squad faced off against the likes of Randy White, Tony Dorsett, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones.

We used to play a game with a friend of mine.  He was a life-long Cowboys fan and we’re pretty die-hard Redskins.  We would pick a year and he would have to name the most Redskins and we would name the most Cowboys.  We’ll have to admit to a certain amount of jealousy.  Drew Pearson, Bob Lilley, Jim Jeffcoat, Emerson Walls, Tony Hill, Michael Irvin (one of the best), Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman.

We’ve been blessed with some great Redskins over the years, also.  Sonny, Billy Kilmer, Charley Taylor, Riggo, Chris Hanburger, Brig Owens, Sean Taylor, Darrell Green, Art Monk.  It’s getting harder and harder to play that game.

Tonight is the 103rd matchup between the Redskins and the Cowboys.  We’ll watch Romo (maybe) go against Grossman.  We’ll cheer for Trent Williams banging into DeMarcus Ware.  We’ll see who wins the toss up between Santana Moss and Terence Newman.  More than anything else, we’ll watch.  Why not?  It’s history!

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