Sunday Night Football: Story Lines To Watch As The Dallas Cowboys Face The Washington Redskins

We're about two hours away from the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys kicking off at FedEx Field for the first Sunday Night Football game of the season.

The biggest news of the day, so far, as it relates to this game and the season: The Redskins are going to wear Gold pants with red and white stripes down the side. The assumption at this point is that they'll be sporting burgundy jerseys to match. (Our friend Dan went to the trouble of heading down to the field to snap a few photos of Redskins center Casey Rabach sporting the gold pants).

With that suspense out of the way, here are a few more relevant story lines to keep an eye on once the offenses and defenses take the field.

1) Albert Haynesworth's role.The defensive tackle's status was typically hard to read this week, from early reports having him on the scout team to later stories placing him with the starters. We at least know the former All-Pro will play for the Redskins tonight; the questions that remain are (a) How much? (b) With which unit? and (c) at which position? Playing him is a no-brainer, no matter how strained the relationship is between Haynesworth and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. As for how much and with which unit, the best bet is that he doesn't take the field with the starters but will rotate in and out a fair amount. As for which spot -- defensive end or nose tackle -- he hasn't spent as much time practicing at end since the third preseason game, so it looks like Haynesworth will be doing his work from inside.

2) The injured Cowboys line. Dallas will take the field missing two starting offensive lineman -- Marc Columbo and Kyle Kosier -- not to mention the departed Flozell Adams. In their place, Dallas will go with veterans Montrae Holland inside and Alex Barron at left tackle. Will that be good enough against a Redskins defense going into its first real game playing in the 3-4? Washington will bring Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo off the edge; that duo had 11 sacks each last season. Up the middle, Dallas will face the aforementioned Haynesworth and the new nosetackle, Ma'ake Kemoeatu.

3) The return of Donovan McNabb. The new Redskins quarterback hasn't taken the field since the second preseason game against Baltimore, when he sprained an ankle. There was little doubt he'd play the season opener -- the team essentially saved him for the games that count once he got injured. But now he'll be trying to shake off rust while also working himself back into what's still a new offense with new personnel.

Stay tuned to SSBNation.com as we'll be making StoryStream updates here throughout the first Sunday night game of the season.

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