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Washington: 'We Put Last Year Behind Us'

Pro Bowl linebacker Marcus Washington spoke with and previewed this Monday night's Redskins-Cowboys game:

Q: How much of a statement game is this game against Dallas, given the way the Cowboys beat you last year in the final minute?

A: "You hate to think about last year. We had a chance to win it on defense and we just gave up a big play at the end. We've been going over it all offseason and trying to correct some of those mistakes we made in that game. Hopefully come Monday, you won't see those same mistakes."

Q: You faced running back Thomas Jones of the Chicago Bears in Week 1. This week you face his brother, Julius Jones. Having faced Thomas Jones already, does that help in facing off against Julius Jones?

A: "A little bit. They're similar, but I think Julius has more capability to break tackles. Last year against us, he broke quite a few tackles. He got a lot of YAC, or what we call Yards After Contact. We're definitely going to have to be ready to tackle well and wrap him up. If we do that, we'll have a good game."

Q: With Drew Bledsoe in at quarterback, has defending the Cowboys' offense changed this year?

A: "The big thing is their offensive line is coming together. That makes it easier on the quarterback and takes a lot of pressure off of him. Drew got off to a great start last week and the receivers were fired up. Keyshawn Johnson is definitely a big play guy. We definitely have to give them our best effort."

Q: With the Cowboys inducting Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith into their Ring of Honor, does it give you added incentive to ratchet up your game another level?

A:"Yeah. You know, you have to take your hat off to those guys. They're legends. But we don't want them to celebrate too much. We want to come away with a win. We just have to do what we did against Chicago and play good defense."

Q: Are you tired of hearing about how one-sided this rivalry has become?

A: "Oh, I love it. It gives you a reason to keep working. If you're patted on the back and told how great you are, you tend to get a little complacent. But if there's a team that's been dominating you, it gives you even more incentive to work hard."

Q: Do you focus on last year's games as motivation, or do you put that game tape in a vault and forget about it?

A: "We forget about everything that has happened in the past between these two teams. We have to forget about last year and just focus on the present. As a team, we have to come out and get off to a good start. We have to capitalize on turnovers and tackle well on defense."

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