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Overconfidence Will Be a Problem This Week

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two thoughts came to mind while watching the Giants run roughshod over the Redskins on Monday night. The first was that it was mind-boggling to watch a team that looked like an unholy combination of a junior high football team and a high school glee club taking part in an NFL game being played on national television. The second was that the Cowboys would have no trouble doing the same thing as the Giants come Sunday.

    That second thought is the dangerous one. It's okay to mock the Redskins because, quite frankly, they don't deserve anything better than that after what happened Monday night. That doesn't change the fact that winning on Sunday isn't preordained. 

    Now, I know what you're saying. Those Cowboys didn't just lay a beating on the undefeated Saints in the Superdome. Those Cowboys didn't just rip the December monkey from their back and boil it in a vat of hydrochloric acid. What about the hapless Redskins could possibly offer reason to be concerned about continuing the cruise to the playoffs?

    The answer is nothing, because the Cowboys take care of that all on their own. 

    Throw out the fact this is a rivalry game, because the Giants and Redskins have their historical issues as well, and just focus on how schizophrenic the Cowboys have been throughout this season. Other than the wins against the Falcons and Seahawks, the Cowboys haven't played two consecutive good games all season. If we're really looking at things with a skeptical eye, they've laid more eggs than they have baked cakes. 

    That's why it's a bit disconcerting to hear Keith Brooking, who's been a sober voice throughout the ups and downs this season, talking about how scared other teams will be about playing the Cowboys in the playoffs.

    "As long as we play the type of football we know we can play and we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot and we don’t dig ourselves in holes throughout the course of games, I guarantee there are a lot of teams that don’t want to face us when the playoffs get here."

    There are the necessary caveats there and Brooking goes on to talk about taking care of business in the next two weeks, but you wonder how much that part of the message filters down to his younger teammates. We'll find out soon enough, but it would be to their advantage to spend more time watching tapes of good Redskins teams from the past than the one that disgraced the sport on Monday night.