LANDOVER, Md. – All good things must end. A veteran NFL coach certainly understands that.

And Joe Gibbs knows the axiom applies even to an improbable victory still being buzzed about a day later.

“Our football team, it certainly needed a lift,” Gibbs said Monday. “I felt like this was an emotional lift for us. Now is that gonna mean anything for us when we go to Philly?”

The Redskins (3-5) blocked a game-winning field-goal attempt against Dallas, then kicked a 47-yarder of their own to defeat the Cowboys 22-19 Sunday at FedEx Field. The win was Washington’s first since Oct. 1, snapped a three-game losing streak and came against most fierce rival.

Those are all good things. And, Gibbs knows none of them will matter next Sunday when the Redskins travel to NFC East rival Philadelphia.

The Eagles (4-4) have lost three straight games. But they still boast the league’s most prolific passer in Donovan McNabb (2,312 yards), and will be coming off a bye week that will give banged-up stars such as Brian Westbrook, Donte Stallworth and Reggie Brown time to heal.

“This division is tough. It’s gonna be a dogfight no matter who you play,” Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels said. “So we gotta go out and just practice hard this week and get ready for that game. Philly’s a good team. They got a good quarterback, and they got some receivers that can catch the ball.”

Before the Redskins take on the Eagles, one would have to imagine that Troy Vincent would be a likely choice to deliver the pregame speech.

Vincent, a 15-year veteran signed by Washington last month, did just that the night before the Dallas game. Then, after telling his new teammates they were going to win on Sunday, even when Washington trailed 19-12, Vincent blocked Mike Vanderjagt’s 35-yard field-goal attempt with six seconds to play.

“It was amazing to hear the guy talk the night before, to speak so eloquently without any hesitation,” defensive tackle Joe Salave’a said.

“He was specific to what we needed to get done to win, and he brings that leadership that we needed.”

After Vincent’s block, Sean Taylor’s return and a 15-yard face-mask penalty, Nick Novak curved a 47-yard field goal inside the right upright to give the Redskins the victory and keep alive their faltering playoff hopes.

Beyond Chicago (7-1), the New York Giants (6-2) and New Orleans (6-2), no NFC teams have established themselves as bona fide contenders, and Washington’s win on Sunday gave it one NFC East victory the same number Dallas and Philadelphia have.

“We’ve got that third victory, which we’ve been searching so hard for, looking each other, day-to-day, in the eye, saying, “Where’s it gonna come from, where are we gonna get it?’ ” Vincent said. “We’ve got victory No. 3. Now we can start preparing for Philadelphia.”

And maybe answering some of the questions about Washington’s fondness for free agents, about the Redskins’ lack of a strong general manager that cropped up as the team struggled.

Gibbs, who is also the Redskins’ team president, addressed both subjects on Monday, defending the way the team does business and the people – including owner Daniel Synder and president of football operations Vinny Cerrato – who make the decisions.

“Any criticism or anything else should rest with me,” Gibbs said.

There might be a little less criticism immediately after Sunday’s victory a topic Monday on the ESPN shows “Pardon the Interruption” and “Cold Pizza,” on which Novak was a guest. And before turning their attention totally to Philadelphia, the Redskins luxuriated in the winning feeling.

“A win like this, it just feels good,” right guard Randy Thomas said. “We’ve been through so much.”

(c) 2006, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).

Visit, the World Wide Web site of the Daily Press at and on America Online at keyword “dailypress.”

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): redskins

AP-NY-11-06-06 2119EST

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