After a week of preparations, the Dallas Cowboys arrived in Washington last Sunday.
The Cowboys’ coach Mike McCarthy, publicly promised victory before they set out on their road trip to face the Washington Football Team. This was the biggest storyline that led up to the matchup.
An unprecedented move was made during pregame warmups, adding fuel to the rivalry.
Four benches were rented from a private vendor by the Cowboys. They were already dressed in their logos and wordmarks when they arrived at the stadium on Sunday. Multiple Washington beat reporters claim that this was the first time that another team has imported their benches into Washington.
How key are warmed benches? I asked Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott how outdoor games impact knee stiffness he’s battled with lingering injury.
“It’s probably a little bit harder to warm up,” Zeke said, but with “those heated benches so it kind of actually is a little bit warmer.” https://t.co/qkyLrUHkEF
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) December 12, 2021
Jon Machota, who is a reporter for the Athletic covering the Dallas Cowboys, shared Ron Rivera’s perspective on the unusual move.
Ron Rivera said that Mike McCarthy predicted the Cowboys would win, and Dallas would bring their own benches. It’s part and parcel of mind games people enjoy to play,” Machota tweeted.
Machota continued with a question that left both fan bases wondering whether Washington would take steps to keep the heat up when they face off again in the NFC. Washington is expected to host the battle at Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium, where there will be a primetime audience for Sunday Night Football on Dec. 26.
Machota replied, “So you’re bringing your own benches to Dallas?”
Rivera replied, “I didn’t say that.”
After the Dallas Cowboys’ 27-20 victory, one Washington player summarized the emotions between the two teams.
“It’s what it is,” declared Washington linebacker Cole Holcomb. His pick-six on Dak Prescott kept the game within one point in the fourth quarter. “It’s Dallas. They are hateful. They hate us. They can do whatever they want.
“I don’t really give a [expletive]”
The Cowboys held a comfortable lead for much of the game thanks to a dominant defensive performance by Dan Quinn’s team. Gregory and Micah Parsons tipped and grabbed an interception in the first quarter. Linebacker Micah Parsons had tackled Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, forcing Dallas to return a fumble for a touchdown. Parsons recorded his 12th sack of rookie season before halftime.
Although the Dallas Cowboys offense was not terrible, it was the reason Washington stayed. Prescott had one his worst games of the year and spoke out about his struggles offensively following the game.
Prescott stated Sunday that it was frustrating. “We have these high standards and expectations, and we set them for ourselves. Also, I don’t mean that the outside world isn’t happy with us.
All eyes now are on the rematch, which is just a few more weeks away.