It's easy to dismiss this weekend's game between the Redskins and Cowboys. Both teams have fallen well short of expectations this year and neither will be taking part in the postseason. Yet, this once great rivalry isn't without reasons to play for either team, particularly the Redskins.
Currently, Washington sits one game ahead of the Cowboys for the infamous last-place spot. It's a location Redskins fans should be quite comfortable with in recent years, as Washington has held at least a share of last place in four of the last six seasons. A win against Dallas this weekend, however, all but seals a third-place finish.
Also, while it doesn't look like Mike Shanahan is coaching for his job, Donovan McNabb might be playing for his. Earlier this week, reports surfaced saying backup Rex Grossman (yes, that Rex Grossman) has been seeing extra snaps in practice and ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported "there's a chance Rex Grossman starts Sunday." It hasn't exactly been a fairy-tale story in our nation's capital, especially at the quarterback position, but McNabb has a chance to erase some doubt in the minds of many fans and some coaches who apparently are questioning whether he's the man to lead the Redskins.
As for Dallas, it's still a rivalry game and a fight to get out of the basement in the NFC East. The Cowboys seem to be playing better under interim coach Jason Garrett, who is looking more and more like Wade Phillips' permanent replacement. Jon Kitna has the offense playing inspired football, something sorely lacking the first few months of the season, and the Cowboys have a chance to grab a big win at home.
There are certainly more intriguing games on the slate this weekend in the NFL, but don't discount this matchup between two teams who both have plenty to fight for.