Hogs Haven Chats with Cowboys' blog, Blogging The Boys

Hopefully we'll be seeing a lot of this on Sunday (via blogs.tampabay.com)

David Halprin, who is the lead blogger for the Cowboys' SB Nation website, Blogging the Boys, and I had a brief gmail chat talking about the big game. 

We talked about what their 2 major injuries mean (Colombo and Hamlin), why they refuse to run the ball, and if the DAL/WAS rivalry is still big in DAL (it's not). I tried throwing in some jabs to rile him up, but he didn't bite:

Kevin: What are your thoughts this Sunday? You have a lot of big injuries. Lets start with Doug Free replacing RT Marc Columbo...is he going to be able to handle [Andre Carter]? He's never started a game before

David: That's the question we all want answered. We've had Free for a few years now but never had the need to start him. Now we do. Free actually played well against the Packers and wasn't one of the problems our offense had in Green Bay. He's got great athleticism and did well in pass protection, we'll just have to see how he measures up this week. 

Kevin: Did Witten have to stay in more to help pass block? That would help the Skins out a lot.

David: Not at all, Free was left on his own for most of the game in pass protection and only had a few bad plays in that area. They would probably use a different TE (Bennett or Phillips) or one of the backs if they give him help.

Kevin: What about Hamlin's replacement? I know he's one of the verbal leaders on that D.

David: That's a tough one, Alan Ball will replace him, he was originally a cornerback but he worked at safety most of training camp this season. He's not the biggest guy and not having Hamlin QB'ing the secondary will hurt some. Our safety play has improved a lot this season, but without Hamlin it's a little worrying.

Kevin: What's to worry about? Santana Moss never does any damage in Big D! 

David: ha

Kevin: Flozell and Kosier going to be OK or gimpy? Haynesworth was still in a boot yesterday but expected to play.

David: I don't expect any problems with Flozell or Kosier, unless you've heard something I haven't?

Kevin: DallasNews.com said they're nursing ankle sprains but should play. Gurode made any comments about Haynesworth this week? I can't imagine he's looking forward to dealing with him again

David: I don't think Gurode has any problem going against Haynesworth, the reason he stomped his head in the first place is because Gurode was getting the better of him. Gurode kind of let that incident pass really quickly, he never said too much about it after it was over.

Kevin: So Dallas has a 2nd best 5.1 yards per carry in the NFL but a 24th ranked rushing attempts...any reason the Cowboys keep abandoning the run?

David: Over the years, OC Jason Garrett sometimes falls in love with the pass. If the run games breaks down even a little bit, or if the Cowboys are moving the ball through the air, he has no problem continuing airing it out. Sometimes it's the flow of the game, like in Green Bay, where the offense just wasn't clicking and they got desperate to pass. It's a constant subject of contention in Dallas and was brought up a lot this week. It's hard to diagnose, but my personal feeling is that Garrett, a former QB, loves to put the ball in the air.

Kevin: how much do you guys miss Roy WIlliams the Safety? I know us Redskins fans miss him dearly there.

David: Gerald Sensabaugh has been a great addition. He's athletic enough to cover TE's and even WR's occasionally, but is tough enough to stick his nose into the running game. He's shown good instincts for finding the ball and making a play. We're thrilled with his performance so far.

Kevin: wow. Cowboys are -13 faves. what's your prediction?

David: I think that's a ridiculous line, considering it's a rivalry game in the NFC East. I do think that Dallas will come out on top, but I would guess more like a FG or TD separation, not 13 points. 

Kevin: actually, the line has moved to -11 

David: It's getting closer 

Kevin: when do you think the Cowboys will win a playoff game? ha

David: really, that's the best you got?

Kevin: I don't need to say anything, when December comes, Romo's play will do all my talking for me  I've always questioned if Wade Phillips' head set is even plugged in...he seems to have no clue what's going on.

David: well this is veering off track...anyway, can we do my questions for you tomorrow, i got no more time right now

(several hours later...) 

Kevin: The DAL/WAS rivalry is still as big as ever in DC. It's all people talk about the week before and the week after, and there is a hatred there for Dallas fans. Does Dallas still have that reciprocal passion against Washington?  Is there a big buildup in D anytime you guys face us? 

David: The Dal/Was rivalry is not as big in Dallas anymore. I don't think there is that reciprocal hatred for the Redskins like there was before. Don't get me wrong, we still hate the Skins, but it's not the same for us anymore. It seems like the Eagles are the team the Cowboys fanbase really gets up for now. That's where the real passionate hatred is directed. So no, it's not at all like what you're seeing on your end.

Kevin: it doesn't help when the Skins have had a decade of mediocrity

David: I think that's part of the problem, but for whatever reason, probably becasue they've been winning big over the last decade, the Eagles win the most-hated NFC opponent on polls I run on my blog, with the Giants usually second 

I answered about a dozen of his questions, so I'll post a link to that when it comes up. 

Another key to the game for the Skins. STARTING STRONG:

The Redskins have been outscored 59-17 in the 1st quarter and 120-50 in the 1st half of games this year.

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