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By Beating Dallas, Redskins Serve Notice In NFC East

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All of a sudden, there's a buzz about the Redskins following the Redskins' 26-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

On the home page of NFL.com, the top story on Monday morning was headlined: "Reason to Believe: Jason Campbell and the Redskins are making names for themselves in the NFC East."

ESPN's Matt Mosley wrote of the Redskins, "Sunday's win bore no resemblance to a fluke...And at least for one day, the Redskins looked like the team to beat in the NFC East."

Sports Illustrated's Peter King named Jim Zorn as his Coach of the Year at the quarter point of the regular season. And he put the Redskins at No. 4 in his Monday morning "Fine Fifteen" power rankings.

The Redskins were an afterthought to the Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East conversation the first month of season.

Not anymore.

"Everybody has to look at the Redskins in a different light now," Ladell Betts said. "This is a great team. We can beat anybody. We can play with anybody. We proved that now."

Added Demetric Evans: "When we go on the road and beat an offense with weapons like Terrell Owens and Marion Barber, it is a great thing. We know we can go on the road and win games. Being in the NFC East, getting through these tough games with a win means a lot."

Speaking of the highly competitive NFC East, the Redskins stay in the division for their next opponent. They take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

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On Monday afternoon, Zorn was measured in discussing what the win over the Cowboys means for his team after four games.

"It was a big win, no question about it," he said. "It was very hard-fought and physical, and both teams wanted it very badly. We were fortunate to come out with a win. It was an evenly played game and our guys stayed in there."

Asked how this win influences perception of the Redskins in the NFC East, Zorn said: "It was a game that helped keep the NFC East even. All four teams are solid teams. It's still anybody's division.

"Our goals are still ahead of us. We made that so by beating the Cowboys in Dallas."

There's more evidence that this Redskins team will stay grounded.

On Monday morning, London Fletcher called a defensive meeting to review the Dallas Cowboys game film.

Fletcher wanted his teammates to understand that, even though they turned in a strong performance vs. Dallas, there is always room for improvement.

"I just wanted to make sure defensively, we got that film watched," Fletcher said. "In wins you can overlook a lot of mistakes that were made that could cost you down the road and we had our fair share of mistakes, as good as we played on Sunday."

Fletcher acknowledged that it seemed the Redskins were overlooked as NFC East contenders before the Dallas game.

"Maybe people underestimated our resolve and that we were battle-tested from what we went through last year," he said.

Fletcher was referring to how the Redskins overcame Sean Taylor's tragic murder to win four December games in a row and earn a playoff berth.

The NFL may have taken notice and fans may develop expectations now, but for the Redskins players, perspective is key.

"It's still early," Fletcher cautioned. "We still have a lot of work to do. We're still a long way from where we want to be. You can't get too high or get too low. You've got to stay the course and not worry about what people say about you, whether it's good or bad."

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