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Redskins-Cowboys: 4 Keys To the Game Presented by Papa John's

Redskins.com breaks down key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys game at Texas Stadium:

OFFENSE

Jason Campbell vs. Cowboys Secondary

Clinton Portis has rushed for 333 yards in the Redskins' last two games, but Dallas's 3-4 defense is ranked fifth against the run. So Jason Campbell will need to be efficient in the passing game. That in turn should help free up rushing lanes for Portis as the Cowboys drop back safeties into coverage.

Dallas is ranked 17th in the NFL against the pass. The Cowboys' secondary has been slowed by injuries this season, and cornerback Anthony Henry has been limited in practice due this week due to a sprained ankle.

Dallas has have been opportunistic in interceptions. Henry leads the team with five picks, while free safety Ken Hamlin has four. Strong safety Roy Williams, a four-time Pro Bowler, has two interceptions.

Opposite Henry, Terrence Newman is among the top cornerbacks in the league. He has one interception, but that's because teams don't often thrown in his direction.

Campbell has faced a 3-4 defensive alignment three times in the last four weeks, so he should be comfortable understanding what Dallas's defense wants to do.

DEFENSE

Redskins Pass Rush vs. Tony Romo

Best way to stop the Dallas Cowboys high-powered offense? One theory is to start at the source with quarterback Tony Romo.

Romo has proven to be effective in and out of the pocket, but the thinking is that it's always better to have a quarterback on the move than firing away from the pocket.

So the Redskins' front four will need to pressure Romo and keep him from getting into a rhythm with wide receivers Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton and tight end Jason Witten. Romo is the NFL's fifth-ranked passer with 190-of-292 completions for 2,555 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Redskins' pass rush has been predicated on speed, with Andre Carter leading the way with seven sacks.

The secondary will be without free safety Sean Taylor, which could impact the number of times that strong safety LaRon Landry blitzes. But it's possible that the Redskins could get back Marcus Washington from a hamstring injury, which should help the pass rush.

The Redskins' defense will need to be at its best in the second half, when Romo has really shined throwing for 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions. In third quarters, Romo has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Antwaan Randle El vs. Cowboys Punt Coverage

Antwaan Randle El can be a dynamic punt returner, but he has struggled this season, logging a 6.8-yard average on 17 returns.

That's down from his career average of 9.4 yards per return.

Dallas ranks 31st in the NFL in punt coverage, allowing an average of 14.3 yards-per-attempt. So there could be some opportunities for Randle El at Texas Stadium.

1-ON-1

Shawn Springs vs. Terrell Owens

The Cowboys will likely alternate Terrell Owens to the outside and the slot, so all of the Redskins cornerbacks will have to be aware of Owens' presence.

Shawn Springs and T.O. will likely see plenty of each other, though. The two have been competing against each other since 1997, when Springs was in Seattle and Owens was in San Francisco.

For the most part, Springs has been able to keep the 6-3, 218-pound Owens in check in recent years.

In Week 9 last year, with Springs returning from a groin injury, Owens grabbed seven passes from Tony Romo for 76 yards and one touchdown.

In two games in 2004, Springs limited Owens to eight catches for 70 yards and one touchdown.

So far this season, offenses have avoided throwing in Springs' direction, a compliment to his skills. Since T.O. is Romo's favorite target, Springs could be in for a busy afternoon.

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