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Quickly, Mr. Irrelevant eloquently captures my own delayed reaction to the schedule:

Initial Reaction: Fucking A. All three of our divisional road games fall within the first five weeks of the season. Bullshit.

Secondary Reaction: No, seriously. How the fuck do they schedule the Skins at N.Y. in Week 1, then at Dallas and at Philly, back-to-back, in Weeks 4 and 5? Bullshit.

That same stretch was rough enough to get Head Coach Jim Zorn's attention and could very well get the attention of Redskins nation should the team find itself in an early season winning deficit. We always do best ~ 5-6, though, right? You can also find schedule reactions here, here, here, and here. Also, the NFL failed in scheduling the Cowboys last Texas Stadium regular season game against someone besides the Redskins. Epic, epic fail NFL. Someone should go make a diary about it. Be civil.

Besides the early grueling road schedule, the big word is our three prime time games:

The Redskins open the season for the entire league on Thursday, Sept. 4, in a 7 p.m. road game against the New York Giants...

The Redskins have one Monday night game, Nov. 3 against Pittsburgh, at FedEx Field, the Redskins' home stadium.

The Redskins have one prime-time Sunday night game, against Dallas on Nov. 16, also at FedEx Field.

There might be some possibility of flex scheduling to get us in prime time but I'm not entirely sure how that works. Anyways, how do we do in prime time? I tried looking it up. In 2007 we had three prime time matchups on a Monday, Sunday, and Thursday night. Results:
  1. Redskins 20, Eagles 12
  2. Bears 16, Redskins 24
  3. Redskins 22, Giants 10
Ya, so far so good, 3-0. We had three in 2006 not counting any flexible scheduling games we might have received, though I'm assuming it couldn't have been many considering the way we played the rest of that miserable season. Results:
  1. Vikings 19, Redskins 16
  2. Redskins 10, Cowboys 27
  3. Giants 34, Redskins 28

Returning to this year, prime candidates for flex scheduling from week 11 on look to be...

Washington @ Seattle, November 23rd: Barring a total collapse by either or both teams, the story carries enough uncreated drama to garner national attention. Jim Zorn, presuming at least a decent season, returns to his professional football home where he spent damn near 15 years, 8 of them as a player.

Either NYG or Philly @ Washington, November 30th/December 21st: Probably a stretch regarding the Giants, as the nation will already have tired of watching us duke it out with them nationally. But the Eagles especially has a chance depending on how both teams are playing and the playoff implications of the game. Considering the NFC East is good for at least one, maybe two wild card teams per year, there's a good bet at least one of us will need that win.

Washington @ Baltimore, December 7th? Probably a stretch but this piece wouldn't have worked without at least three paragraphs. I mention this only to reiterate my frustration that the NFL scheduled the final regular season game to be played at Texas Stadium as between Dallas and the Ravens? Why? What non-existent rivalry is that supposed to perpetuate?

So come on, Cowboys-Redskins, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, for the final regular-season game at Texas Stadium, to be shown on NFL Network? I mean, the Redskins are just playing Philly the next day. No biggie. That could have been arranged.

Who knows, maybe Fox didn't want to give away both Cowboys-Redskins games, since the game at Washington is scheduled to be a Sunday night game (Nov. 16) on NBC and that final regular-season home game at Texas Stadium is on NFL Network, which I'm guessing will be a bone of contention for many of you and for discussion on another day.

Or maybe the NFL execs are simply counting on the Cowboys earning a home playoff game or two based on last season's track record, thus one of those becoming the actual final game at Texas Stadium.

I'm actually hoping it is this latter explanation, since NFL execs so clueless as to the draw of a Redskins-Cowboys close out that Texas Stadium finale game would similarly be clueless about the how the Cowboys season will shake out.

It was an opportunity to inject one more great historical anecdote into the greatest rivalry in the NFL and the league blew it.