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So this is odd: Joe Gibbs fired up the Cowboys with a pregame speech

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Joe Gibbs in a more familiar locale. (Getty Images)

There are certain rivalries you just don't mess with. Michigan-Ohio State. Auburn-Alabama. Yankees-humankind. And in that mix, we'd certainly add Cowboys-Redskins. Though the rivalry has cooled somewhat with time, and the abysmal record of both participants, Dallas-Washington remains one of the NFL's iconic face-offs.

So with that in mind, what the heck was Redskins legend Joe Gibbs doing speaking to the Cowboys Saturday night in preparation for their Carolina game?

If you know Gibbs, you know the answer: He's a devout Christian, and even the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry didn't keep him from speaking at the team's chapel session. That, and he and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are apparently friends, which is worth a reality show in itself.

As USA Today reported, Gibbs, who now lives in Charlotte to run his NASCAR team, told some of his own end-of-game misadventures to a team beset with clock-management misfires. Gibbs once called a timeout he didn't have in an attempt to ice the opposing kicker; the ensuing 15-yard penalty allowed the kicker to win the game.

"If Joe Gibbs can screw it up," several Cowboy players apparently told Jones, "anybody can screw it up," which doesn't exactly seem like the best way to defend yourself to the guy who signs your checks.

Regardless, something may have sunk in; the Cowboys beat the Panthers 19-14 in a game that included some late-game heroics by quarterback Tony Romo et al. And clock management was not an issue, at least not for the Cowboys.

Joe Gibbs motivating the Cowboys. Somewhere, the Hogs are weeping.

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