LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 12: London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins stops Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season opener against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on September 12 2010 in Landover Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 13-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
We get you ready for the big game on Monday with a Q&A from a SB Nation Cowboys expert.
KD Drummond: It seems to be pretty serious. Inside the NFL had him as a surprise guest on Wednesday night. He barely made any body movements during the interview, and later in the show he looked extremely geriatric when they cut to a clip of him standing up from his seat. At the time, there were still five full days until kickoff, but my instant reaction was that it might be the gutsiest performance since Willis Reed if he's on the field when the clock reads four zeroes.
ESPN's Stephania Bell was on the radio with Brian Broaddus and suggested the punctured lung is of the minimalist variety. She suggested cabin pressure would have made a serious puncture diffiuclt to travel with. SB Nation's resident MD Dr. Ali has said that it will most likely be a pain management issue, a sentiment which was made public by owner Jerry Jones. We think he's going to shoot it up and give it a go, but it's still anybody's guess how he'll be able to perform. He showed up for practice on Thursday but didn't participant in any drills, and was limited in stretching.
Romo tried to return in the Giants game last year with a broken collarbone, so he's one tough hombre. The stage is certainly set to see more endless praise of his moxie.
SB Nation D.C.: Is there any early response to DeAngelo Hall's comments about how he is looking to target the Cowboys' injured players?
KD Drummond: Nothing publicly yet, as opponent-specific trash talk hasn't crept it's way into the Cowboys vernacular this season under head coach Jason Garrett. The question is, what did DeAngelo Hall accomplish by saying those things? Are the Cowboys now going to change their game plans because on of the most overrated corners in the history of the league is saying what they already know? Probably not. Did they know that each injury is going to be targeted? Definitely.
So now DeAngelo has a target on him. If Dez Bryant (hopeful) and Miles Austin (highly questionable) are able to suit up (editor's note: Austin will not play on Monday), I'd expect him to get a lot of double moves Monday night. Knowing our fans and the nature of our rivalry, Hall getting burnt by an unheralded threat would probably soar past other game memes as the preferred path to epic victory.
Hopefully the referees are hearing his comments too. We wouldn't mind seeing a couple unsportsmanlike appearances.
SB Nation D.C.: What's the biggest non-Romo injury that could play a huge rule in Monday's game?
Felix Jones' dislocated shoulder would be next on the list, but the running back corps is deep. Kevin Kowalski played adequately against San Francisco in place of center Phil Costa. Now, Derrick Dockery is out and we might have to force David Arkin into duty. The offense is a complete mash unit right now.
Defensively, Orlando Scandrick is now the sole major contributor missing from a unit that is trending at the moment. Points determine wins and losses, but aren't always indicative of the performance. Rob Ryan's defense has been an extreme positive to this point of the season.
SB Nation D.C.: Though the Redskins have started 2-0, are they still considered the division doormat for the rest of the NFC East?
KD Drummond: Doormat? No. I think many Cowboys fans have taken notice to the Redskins improvement, but there is always going to be a 'hate your rival' slant to comments and opinions. There is a lot of doubt as to whom the Redskins have played. Many saw a downward turn for the Giants and no one in the NFC West gets respect. The quality of their play on offense has been noted. Defensively, individual performances such as Ryan Kerrigan are getting their respect, but the run defense looks like it might be the elixir to Dallas' run-blocking problems.
I will say that Rex Grossman doesn't get much respect from most fans, despite the statistics. Most view him as a turnover machine who happened to not get burned by them the first two weeks. I would say Dallas fans still view the Eagles as the major competition and feel that the Cowboys have more potential than Washington and New York, who would be graded equally.
But it's early in the season, and many things at the one-eighth mark of the season can be mirages.
SB Nation D.C.: Lastly, Redskins fans are still very passionate about the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry. Does it still resonate at all for Dallas fans?
KD Drummond: It does, especially with our fans 35 and older and the large contingent that live in the D.C. area (such as myself). But realistically, the Cowboys are 19-6 against the Redskins in the last 25 meetings. Losses are viewed as a failure on our part more and dismissed as taxes on numerous victories than anything Washington earns. Dan Snyder is viewed as a copy-cat, lesser version of Jerry Jones. Remember many, fans repeatedly voice their displeasure for our team's owner.
Mostly though, the Eagles are now the division's most hated, due to their long stretch at the top at the beginning of the decade. The hatred for all of the NFC East teams remain strong, but this week I think Cowboys fans have been more preoccupied with trying to track who will be available to suit up than to dive into the rivalry aspect of the game. I'd expect a completely different take on things should both teams be competitive for the November tilt.
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