Quick Take: Redskins (5-4) at Cowboys (8-1)

Last meeting
Last November, Troy Vincent blocked a 47-yard field goal attempt by Dallas kicker Mike Vanderjagt with time expiring. Sean Taylor scooped up the ball and returned it into Cowboys territory, while drawing a face-mask personal foul penalty. The Redskins were granted an untimed down and Nick Novak nailed a 46-yard field goal to give Washington an unlikely and shocking 22-19 victory.

The Redskins have won three of the past four to trim Dallas' overall lead in the series to 55-32-5.

Last week
Up nine in the fourth quarter, the Redskins faltered at home and lost to the Eagles, 33-25. The Cowboys, on the other hand, took over in the fourth quarter and beat the Giants 31-20 to seize control of the NFC East.

At stake
In the thick of the NFC wild-card race, Washington has to start winning against NFC and division opponents so it is not left out of the playoff picture due to tie-breakers. The Redskins are just 3-3 in the conference and 1-2 in the division, and if they lose to the Cowboys, their hopes of earning a wild card take another hit. Dallas also has postseason positioning on the line, but it is of a loftier stature. The Cowboys need to keep winning in order to gain the inside track to home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Key matchup
Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens vs. Redskins safety Pierson Prioleau. While these two will not match up directly, they will definitely cross paths. Starting safety Sean Taylor is out for Washington with a knee sprain, placing Prioleau in the ever-important free safety position of the Redskins' favored cover-two zone defense. In the past, Taylor had helped keep Owens largely in check with his vicious hits on the star wideout. Prioleau does not possess the same physical aggression that Taylor brings and this could work to Owens' benefit. Owens is enjoying one of his best seasons under new Cowboys coordinator Jason Garrett and is averaging a career-high 17.1 yards per catch. In Garrett's scheme, Owens often attacks the opposing safety with a variety of post patterns and vertical routes. It will be up to Prioleau to make his presence felt and snuff those plays out. If Prioleau is unable to shadow Owens and allows him to attack the cornerbacks one-on-one, it could be a long day for the visiting Redskins.

Did you know?
The Cowboys lead the NFC in points scored (296) and total offense (396.8 yards per game), and have yet to score fewer than 24 points in a game this season.

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