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News & Notes: Portis Steady In 35-7 Win

Clinton Portis likely won't be featured on any of the highlight packages following Sunday's game, but his steady running helped lift the Redskins to a 35-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField.

Portis finished with 112 rushing yards on 23 carries, an impressive 4.9 yards-per-carry average. It was his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game, the first time he has done that as a Redskin.

Portis now has 1,296 rushing yards and is closing in on Stephen Davis's team record of 1,432 single-season rushing yards set in 2001. Portis needs just 137 yards in the Redskins' final two regular-season games.

Portis said he is pleased with his workload late this season and he feels better physically than he did last year.

"This is the stretch run," he said. "The offensive line has been determined to get me over the 100-yard mark. The guys are flying around. As a team, everyone has to be excited about doing something. Right now, this playoff run that we're making has everyone around here excited. You have receivers blocking downfield. You have linemen giving extra effort. And for me, it's going well."

Portis was not able to rush for 100 yards in any of his first three games against the Cowboys. That changed on Sunday.

Portis knew the importance of Sunday's game to the Washington, D.C., region. And he knows that next Sunday, when the Redskins host the New York Giants in another pivotal NFC East matchup, will have equal significance.

"In the month of December, there have been a lot of meaningless games going on around here," Portis said. "Most fans would pack up and say, 'Oh, next year the Redskins will be okay.' This year, the hope is still there. The only thing that we have to do is go out and get victories."

-- BRUNELL: 'THIS TEAM IS SPECIAL'

When the Chicago Bears defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday evening, it improved the Redskins' playoff hopes and hindered the chances of the Dallas Cowboys.

Washington is 8-6 with a home game next Sunday against the New York Giants and a road game on New Year's Day against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We're still alive," quarterback Mark Brunell said. "This team is special. We have a great chemistry. All of the guys have just an incredible work ethic. Obviously we have talent. We're getting there. We're building something. You're start to see some signs of a Redskins team that is going to be good this year and for years to come."

-- A LOT OF FIRSTS

Prior to Sunday, the Redskins hadn't swept the Dallas Cowboys in a season series since 1995--and the win was sweet for a number of players. It was also the first time the Redskins had beaten the Cowboys at FedExField since 2002.

"It's big for this team, particularly at this time of year when we need to win to stay alive," Brunell said. "To beat the Cowboys two times is huge--huge for this city and this organization and great for the fans."

Added H-back Chris Cooley: "It was the most exciting game since I've been a Redskin. It was a lot of fun."

As if the 35-7 win wasn't enough, Sunday also resulted in a number of for firsts:

  • The attendance for Sunday's game was 90,588, a record for FedExField.
  • The Redskins' 35-7 win marked the largest margin of victory against the Cowboys in series history and the most points Washington has scored against Dallas since 1999.
  • Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin recorded his first career interception.
  • Rookie cornerback Dimitri Patterson recorded his first career interception.
  • Phillip Daniels's four sacks was a career high and tied the Redskins' record for most sacks in a game, also held by Diron Talbert and Dexter Manley.
  • Brunell tied his career-high with four touchdown passes.

-- HALFTIME CEREMONY

Four soldiers who were wounded in combat in Iraq were recognized by the Redskins and the Military Order of the Purple Heart during halftime of Sunday's game against the Cowboys.

Staff Sgt. Todd Watson, Sgt. Shane Cieszeski, Sgt. Joshua Heskett and Spc. Richard Hursh were presented with lifetime memberships in the Purple Heart by U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia.

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