By Steve Czaban Special to Published Sep 21, 2005 at 5:11 AM

{image1} Monday night, my team - the Washington Redskins - beat the Dallas Cowboys in the most improbable of ways. With less than four minutes to go, our offense was being shut out and faced a 4th and 15, trailing by 13 points. It felt like we were down by 33.

Yet out of the clear blue Texas sky, the vertically-challenged passing game of the Skins hooked up on almost back to back long bombs to the same guy (Santana Moss) and won 14-13.

This would be the equivalent of being snubbed for your high school prom by every pimple-faced chick in the band, and then (on a whim) calling up, say Eva Longoria, and finding her available Friday night, and ready to go.

The win was the first ever one-point victory for the Redskins over our hated rival, and it added another chapter to the "Cowboys and Indians" lore on the gridiron.

Are we square yet in the karma department? I don't think so. Going back to Clint Longley coming in to beat us on Thanksgiving Day, it just seems like Dallas has done us the dirty deed in more unbelievable ways than vice-versa.

Don't believe me? Fine. Let me walk you back through the last 15 meetings prior to tonight. It might even brighten the mood of some Packer fans. Maybe not, but here goes.....

What is the most annoying thing about the now 2-16 skid against those blue-star-wearin', hole-in-the-roof-havin', cheerleader-flauntin', no good Cowboys?

It's that the following QBs have beat us in this run: Troy Aikman, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Randall Cunningham, Vinny Testaverde -- even Jason Garrett!

I mean, come on! If it was Brett Favre, or John Elway, or Joe Montana owning your team for almost a decade, that would be one thing, but this is a joke.

And running backs have gone wild against us in this span. Not just Emmitt -- who averaged over 100 yards per game against us in his career -- but also by guys like Chris Warren and Troy Hambrick.

Hambrick once had a Walter Payton-esque 189 in a win. Good god.

In 1998, both Warren and Smith went over 100 yards in a win and Dana Stubblefield had the gall to say afterward, "I didn't see them running at me!" Yeah, because you were on your back you fat loser!

The Cowboys have beat us in overtime (Ismail's 76-yarder on opening day) and with 0:00 on the clock (Tim "Gym Teacher" Seder in 2001).

The Cowboys have beaten us with trick plays like the Richie Anderson option pass for a TD last year. Meanwhile, our trick plays were timid and lame. Like the quick kick Marty tried in 2001. Quick kick! I guess we figured to "pooch" our way to a win.

We've had scrubs beat us, like last year when the unknown Patrick Crayton caught a game winner down the right sideline with 55 seconds left.

Could it be motivation, or intensity? Maybe. Maybe not.

Its not that the Skins have come in flat to these games every time. Heck, twice we knocked guys out - and still lost games! Levar Arrington ended Troy Aikman's career on a wicked shot on the sideline in 2000. That's when Anthony Wright came in, and the 'Boys somehow won with Wright running the option all day, throwing just five times for almost three quarters.

Five passes. Win.

Deion Sanders got knocked out as a punt returner in 1999 - and then came back and ran one back 70 yards for a TD. He never ran one back as a Redskin. We paid lots and lots of money for him. Wheeee!

And then sometimes, we just plain stunk. I'd say that was the case when Tim Hasselbeck went 6-26 for 56 yards with a 0.0 passer rating (Bluto Blutarsky-esque, to be sure) in a 27-0 shutout in 2003. Of course, both teams stunk plenty of times in the course of this span. Like in 2001 when both teams met at 0-4. Or in the 1998 finale at FedEx field where the Skins lost 23-7 to a bunch of Cowboy backups to cap a 6-10 effort by Norv Turner in what should have been his last game as head coach.

Sadly, it was not. This bumbling, mumbling Cowboy import of a coach whose record stood at 32-47-1 at the time, miraculously survived because of the ownership change that saw Dan Snyder outmaneuver Howard Milstein for the keys to the Burgundy and Gold Kingdom. By the time the Snyder had full control, it was July, and too late to can Norv. That would not come until 2000, when Turner got whacked and replaced by Terry Robiskie.

Which led to the Crowning Embarassment Dallas Loss in 2000. It was Robiskie's first game as interim head coach. Local columnists like Mike Wilbon were swearing in print that black players on the team would play especially hard for him, since black head coaches get so precious few chances in the NFL.

Well, that was the theory, at least.

Undermining that theory, was Deion butchering his name by calling him "Ro-BIN-skie" in public. So much for respect. The Skins got totally ripped that day, and Dana Stubblefield again showed his true colors, sitting out the game with a tummy ache (or "flu" as he called it) and even sleeping - sleeping! - on the trainer's table while Dallas romped.

It was the same game where Jeff George got dragged around like a rag doll by Ebenezer Ekuban after a sack. It was slightly telling, that not a single Redskin came to his defense. Hell, I could hardly blame the players. After all, George told us that season that "leadership stuff is over-rated."

In this run, there were miracle finishes and astounding collapses. And until last night, the miracles were all theirs and the collapses, all ours. Aikman to Rocket in overtime on opening day in 1999? Yep. Burned into our broken hearts. Skins were up 21 to start the 4th quarter that day. Twenty-friggin'-one! We even had a field goal lined up to win in regulation. Then botched the snap.

If you want stupid, sure, my team has been that too. Arrington once got three (yes, three!) personal fouls in the 1st half of the 2001 9-7 loss in Texas. Another time, the Skins got a penalty on a Kevin Mitchell personal foul for (and I am not making this up) "jamming signals." His lame attempt to throw the Cowboys off-sides on a chip shot field goal, instead led to a TD.


The Cowboys have had their fair share of good bounces. Bounces like Randall Cunningham fumbling a ball on the dead run, only to see it come back to his hands like a basketball, and then gunning it 76 yards to a wide open Chris Warren for a TD. Another loss, 27-21. Thanks for coming, please drive safely.

Stephen Davis had the game locked up for Marty one year in Dallas, only to fumble in opposing field goal range in the waning minutes.

Steve Spurrier, of all people, has the only win in this awful run. Go figure. But even that one deserves a footnote. It's Week 17 of the 2002 season and Dave Campo's imminent firing by Jerry Jones is a poorly kept secret. Campo, with nothing to lose, actually said in a press conference - and I quote: "If they don't beat us now, they never will."

Well, we did win, but barely 20-14. Perhaps fittingly, it was Darrell Green's last game as a Redskin. The same future Hall of Famer who once ran-down Tony Dorsett from across the field on MNF to save a touchdown as a rookie.

There. There was our one win against our hated rival since 1997, prior to last night's incredible finish. And you know what, there's a game ball from that win. Dan Snyder has it. How do I know? Because Spurrier in his opening press conference, arrogantly announced that Sndyer would get that ball the first time he beat Dallas.

Whoo hee.

I'd like to think the Cowboys give ceremonial game balls to Jerry Jones when they beat the Redskins, but I truly doubt it. For one thing, it would start to get expensive. For another, what would Jones do with them all? Let his dogs chew on them in the back yard?

Maybe this will mark the great shifting of football "ju-ju" back to our side. Maybe the fact that we got to wear the white "home" uniforms down there for the first time ever had something to do with it.

Then again, maybe it as just dumb luck. But I don't care. I'll take it.

Steve Czaban Special to

Steve is a native Washingtonian and has worked in sports talk radio for the last 11 years. He worked at WTEM in 1993 anchoring Team Tickers before he took a full time job with national radio network One-on-One Sports.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Steve has worked for WFNZ in Charlotte where his afternoon show was named "Best Radio Show." Steve continues to serve as a sports personality for WLZR in Milwaukee and does fill-in hosting for Fox Sports Radio.