SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Dallas' 2011 home opener comes in Week 3 as they play host to the NFC East leading Washington Redskins.
Tony Romo certainly silenced his critics in Week 2, leading the Cowboys to a come from behind win over the San Francisco 49ers -- despite having a couple cracked ribs and a punctured lung. The battered and bruised Cowboys, though, must forge ahead as they're set for their 2011 home opener in Week 3 against the Washington Redskins.
With the win over the 49ers, the Cowboys find themselves in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants also find themselves with 1-1 record along with Dallas. The 2-0 Redskins sit alone atop the NFC East standings -- for now.
The Cowboys will certainly be playing shorthanded when they take the field at Jerry Jones' Death Star for the first time in 2011. Top wide receiver Miles Austin will be sidelined at least through Dallas' bye week in Week 5. Starting center Phil Costa will likely be out on Monday night as well, as he aggravated his PCL injury.
There is some good news on the injury front for Dallas at least. Romo is expected to play Monday night despite his injuries. Starting running back Felix Jones is also expected to be available for Week 3, despite separating his shoulder against San Francisco. Dallas' secondary should receive a boost as well, as Terrence Newman is aiming to return against the Redskins on Monday night as well.
Washington's 2-0 start is certainly one of the NFL's biggest surprises this season. The Redskins handled the Giants with relative ease in Week 1 before defeating the Cardinals on a field goal late in the fourth quarter in Week 2.
Despite his deficiencies, Rex Grossman was named the starting quarterback in Washington this season, and thus far, he's played well. Grossman has thrown for 596 yards on the young season while throwing four touchdowns against two interceptions to go along with a 59.7 completion percentage.
Much like this game will be Dallas' home opener, this game will be Washington's first road game this season.
With the Lions coming to town before Dallas' bye week in Week 5 (which is followed by a date in Foxboro in Week 6), it's imperative that the Cowboys not only play well, but come away with a win against the Redskins.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT on Monday night. Televised coverage can be found nationally of course on ESPN.