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Colt McCoy Likely To Start Against The Cowboys

By the time Monday night's Redskins-Cowboys game kicks off at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, 1,054 days will have passed since the last time Colt McCoy last started a game at quarterback in the NFL.

All indications are that streak is set to come to an end, however.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Thursday that the team is preparing to move forward with McCoy as its quarterback Monday against the Cowboys, which would be the fifth-year veteran's first start since Dec. 8, 2011, when he played for the Cleveland Browns against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McCoy this week is getting most of the first-team reps in practice, but is sharing a few with Robert Griffin III, who is close to returning from a dislocated ankle suffered Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"We're preparing for Colt to be the starter," Gruden said. "But we're trying to get Robert some reps, get him ready, but right now it looks like odds are Colt will be the starter, but we're trying to work Robert into the lineup and trying to get him reps to get him ready to go."

McCoy, who is in his first season with the Redskins, is coming off an inspiring relief performance Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, in which he was inserted into the game to start the second half and completed 12-of-13 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

He was also able to lead the Redskins down the field for a game-winning drive, culminating in a 22-yard field goal by Kai Forbath as time expired to give Washington its 19-17 victory over Tennessee.

Since that time, McCoy said he has been preparing as if he's starting against the Cowboys — which doesn't stray much from his weekly approach as a backup quarterback, anyway.

"I am really just trying to get a grasp of what they do, how they play," McCoy said of the 6-1 Cowboys. "They have beaten a lot of good teams, a lot of good quarterbacks. So, we obviously know that this is a huge task for us as an offense."

McCoy acknowledged the chance to get a start could be a "huge opportunity" down the road, but said he doesn't want to get too caught up in those possibilities and lose focus on the game itself.

"I just want to go out there and be who I am – that is who I am every day in here – be confident and play the best football I can play," he said.

Gruden considers Griffin III, meanwhile, a "wild card" for the team's matchup against the Cowboys. The first-year head coach stressed that Griffin III must be 100 percent — both physically and mentally — if he's to see the field at all vs. Dallas.

"He's been cleared to do just about everything," Gruden said. "It's just a matter of now that's he's doing everything, going back to [head athletic trainer] Larry [Hess], continuing his rehab, how's he feeling? How's it holding up? All that good stuff."

Gruden said he likely won't know until 90 minutes before Monday's game whether or not Griffin III will be active for the first time since Week 2.

"When it's all said and done – when Robert's healthy, Robert's the starter," Gruden said. "Colt could be the starter Monday night, but when Robert is healthy, he'll be the starter… We just don't know when that 'healthy' will be. Mental healthy, physical healthy, we've just got to get him ready."




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