Redskins.com looks at two key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys game at Cowboys Stadium.
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Santana Moss vs. Terence Newman
Against Dallas, Santana Moss has had some of the best games of his 9-year NFL career.
In the Week 1 game between the two clubs this year, Moss recorded six catches for 77 yards. In two games in 2009, Moss pulled in 13 passes for 130 yards.
Overall, Moss has caught 65 passes for 983 yards – a 15.1 yards-per-catch clip – and four touchdowns in 11 games against the Cowboys. His best game came in 2005 when he caught two fourth-quarter touchdowns to help the Redskins come from behind and beat the Cowboys 14-13 at Texas Stadium.
Moss is on pace for a career-high 87 catches this season. He continues to be effective on sideline routes, but he has been particularly effective lining up in the slot.
He has been effective on sideline routes and when he has lined up in the slot, a new role for him this season.
Terence Newman, an 8-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, lined up against Moss most of the time in Week 1.
Newman has 25 career interceptions in his career. He has been a thorn in the Redskins' side for years -- eight of his interceptions have come vs. Washington. Newman almost had a ninth interception against Dallas in Week 1, but it was nullified by a penalty.
This matchup bears watching if only because Moss and Newman are savvy veterans. Moss has had the better of the matchup in recent games, though.
Brian Orakpo vs. Doug Free
It's one of the indelible moments of the Redskins' 13-7 victory over Dallas in Week 1: Brian Orakpo getting held around the neck by right tackle Alex Barron on the last play of the game.
The yellow flag was thrown, and a game-winning touchdown by the Cowboys was taken off the board.
Orakpo continues to be frustrated at how often he is held by offensive linemen during the course of the game. He was clearly held by Tampa Bay left tackle Donald Penn last week on the Buccaneers game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter – and no yellow flag was thrown that time.
Still, Orakpo has been the Redskins' most effective pass rusher. He leads the defense with 8.5 sacks and 37 quarterback hurries. He also has 62 tackles, sixth-best on the team, and one forced fumble.
Orakpo has lined up against the left tackle more as the season has progressed. That means he faces off against Doug Free, who is completing his first season at the position.
Free has started every game for Dallas this season. He has been solid in the ground game, especially in the last two games when the Cowboys averaged 163.5 rushing yards against Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
He has been credited with giving up three sacks this season – as a group the Cowboys' pass protection unit has yielded 22 sacks.
Free has been plagued by false starts – he has six this season. He has been flagged for just three holding calls this season (and two were declined).