“I think it’s good. I think it’s really good. They get used to the pressure over the last six weeks, knowing every game is do or die,” Shanahan said. “They’re used to that scenario right now. They know we have to play our best football, and everything we’re working for comes back to this weekend: taking advantage of what we’ve done the last six weeks. It really doesn’t mean anything unless we take advantage of our game against Dallas.”
The NFL announced Sunday night that the game has been moved from 1 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. under the sport’s flexible scheduling arrangement with NBC. So while there is a chance the Redskins could reach the NFC playoffs as a wild-card team even with a loss to the Cowboys, it will have played out before the prime time game in Landover begins.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday the Redskins are focused on the Cowboys game and the division title that is up for grabs.
“We’re going to give them our best shot either way,” Shanahan said. “You look to your goals: to win the division. You always want that home playoff game, and we’ll prepare as if that’s the most important thing. That’s what we set our goals at the beginning of the season: to win the division and have a home playoff game. Hopefully we can accomplish those goals.”
If the Redskins make the playoffs, it would be the first time since 2007 and only the third time since 2005. A division title would be their first since 1999.
To earn a wild-card berth, the Redskins need both the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears to lose Sunday. The Bears play at Detroit in a 1 p.m. game. The Vikings host the Green Bay Packers at 4:25 p.m.
If both teams are defeated, the Redskins would clinch a playoff berth before they play the Cowboys, and their night game would decide whether they go into the postseason as a division champion with a victory or as a wild card team with a defeat.
If either the Bears or Vikings win, the Redskins would be eliminated from wild card contention and their game against the Cowboys would be an all-or-nothing contest for the NFC East title. The winner would reach the playoffs as the conference’s fourth seed — and host a home game the following weekend — and the loser would go home for the season.
“That’s what you work all summer for, all spring for, to be in those type of games in the winter, whether it comes in the last game of the season or the first game of the playoffs,” defensive tackle Barry Cofield said after the Redskins’ 27-20 win Sunday at Philadelphia.
If the Redskins win the division, they likely would host the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. The Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot and probably will be the fifth seed.