Dallas Cowboys: Giants' Loss Sparks Historic Matchup vs. Washington Redskins

Bo MartinContributor IDecember 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys and Josh Wilson #26 of the Washington Redskins at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Admit it, Garrett Hartley kicked that field goal in overtime and all the air in your chest was taken from you instantly.  The bit of optimism the Cowboys have allowed you to harvest took a serious shot.  You wondered if this season was worth the fight.

Three short hours later and Cowboys Nation is revived thanks in large part to a meltdown by the New York Giants in Baltimore.

The Cowboys now have one scenario that matters: Win and you’re in.

Easier said than done.

The Cowboys will travel to Washington D.C. to reignite a meaningful rivalry with the Washington Redskins, a rivalry that is as old as the Cowboys are, one that was forged when the Redskins wouldn’t allow the Cowboys to be an expansion team.  It was when Clint Murchison bought the rights to “Hail to the Redskins” that Washington changed its mind about an NFL expansion in Dallas.

It’s been a while since the days of Tom Landry and George Allen, but we’re back now.

The Redskins have a new toy in Robert Griffin III and have been explosive since his arrival.  They aren’t the Redskins of old; they are dangerous, versatile and determined to win this division.

The Cowboys lost a close one in Dallas against Washington just six short weeks ago.  This time the Cowboys have a healthy DeMarco Murray in their corner to help ease the pressure off of Tony Romo.

Currently the Redskins rank 18th in passing offense, first in rushing offense, 30th in passing defense and sixth in rushing defense. 

The Cowboys, however, are playing brilliantly on offense but have struggled on defense with a real-life version of “The Replacements."

The game will come down to the question of who wants it more.  I’ll tell you one thing, the Cowboys need it more.  Tony Romo has been impressive in his career but is eluded by the postseason.  Additionally, the Cowboys have an elite veteran core that is watching its clock run out.

It’s time the Cowboys make a run.

Sure, the defense is makeshift and the offensive line is mediocre but crazier things have happened.  Dez Bryant has evolved into an elite receiver and is playing lights out, players are adopting the “whole team" concept and for the first time in a while, leaders are leading.

A new season begins for the Cowboys this upcoming weekend in Washington. 

One of the greatest rivalries is restored in a high-stakes division game.  Robert Griffin III vs. Tony Romo, Alfred Morris vs. DeMarco Murray, Jason Garrett vs. Mike Shanahan. 

Legacies are built in big games, and it’s time these Cowboys build theirs.