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Sports Illustrated: NFC East Rivalries (Redskins-Cowboys)

Sports Illustrated: NFC East Rivalries (Redskins-Cowboys)

EXCERPT: The Dallas Cowboys. No opponent in the modern era of the Washington Redskins has sparked as much resentment among players and fans in the nation’s capital. Maybe it’s those stars on the helmets, or that sacrosanct image of the self-dubbed “America’s Team,” or that myth about the hole in the roof at Texas Stadium “so God can watch his favorite team play” – all elements that have fueled an abhorrence of the snooty Cowboys.  As former Redskins guard Mark May eloquently put it after a 41-14 rout of Dallas in 1986: “There are three great things in life. Winning the lottery, having a baby and beating the Cowboys this badly.”  That Washington and Dallas have carried on an emotional rivalry in recent decades – one of the best, in fact, the NFL has ever had to offer – has something to do with it, too.  The rivalry peaked from the early-1970s to the mid-1980s, when the NFC East foes, both perennial contenders for most of that period, collided in one epic battle after another.