Big Boy’s Take On The Redskins-Cowboys Rivalry

What does the Cowboys/ Redskins rivalry mean to me? Very simple….everything. It’s the good guys against the bad guys. The blue collars against the white. It’s the greatest rivalry in professional sports! George Allen, a journeymen coach arrived in Washington in the early 70′s with his brand of football. He had no time for rookies. Just give him veteran players with something left in the tank, and something left to prove and we will be successful. Oh, one other problem….he also knew that to be successful with the Redskins, he had to beat the Dallas Cowboys. And so it began. It just seems that over the years they have been a tuxedo and we have been a pair of brown shoes. We had pickups they had BMW’s. We had something to prove and they had what we wanted.

At the age of 37 I am still a big sports fan, however I’m not near as emotional about it as I was in my youth. Except 2 times a year. It just builds in me from Monday to Sunday. It consumes me. Dallas week is still as emotional in my life now as it was then. I can still hear my mom talk about how Clint Longley came off the bench for a injured Roger Staubach to beat us. How they knocked us out of the playoffs in ’79. How we got some redemption in the ’80′s, a very successful decade for us but always a snag or two from guess who. How my childhood friend Mike Dellinger, who was as die hard a Cowboys fan as you will ever find, would chat all week about the importance of the game. I remember how each of us hated to be on the losing end the morning after and that phone would ring. Oh man!

My greatest memories of the rivalry? I have many but I will share my favorite. It was during the second Joe Gibbs era. It was Monday night September 19, 2005. My cousin Herman and I were at our local watering hole. We had been suffering a few dismal years in the rivalry. The Skins were down 13-0 and couldn’t do a damn thing on offense. Some guy at the end of the bar got up to go to the bathroom and in passing, said something that did not sit well with us. Words were exchanged which led to pushing and shoving. After the altercation was broken up, the bar divided, things got settled down and the game went on. The guy left, but vowed that he would be back. And he did, he came back wearing a Cowboy’s jersey with several other Cowboys fans. We we got into again, this time the result was the Cowboys fans were asked to leave and not come back. Two long passes later we win 14-13! The remaining Redskin’s fans in the bar all cheered and hugged one another and all was good.

The best part about it was the reaction of the coach. Here’s a guy, a Hall of Famer, Superbowl winning coach, Sprint Cup champion car owner. If you remember his reaction after the game it was very moving. He knew at that place and time what the rivalry means to him, to the players, and all of us fans.
Jeff Collins
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