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Stephen Bowen (background, right) has given the
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BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN--When Stephen Bowen was watching portions of Sunday's game between San Francisco and Dallas, for which he played for the last five seasons, he felt obligated to cheer for one of the teams.
It wasn't the Cowboys.
"Actually, I was hoping they lost," said Bowen, now a defensive end for the Washington Redskins. "It's a competition. At the end of the day, in the offseason, we're all friends, but right now, it's all competition."
It had been an offseason of change for Bowen, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract to join the Redskins as soon as the five-month owners' lockout ended. He'll experience a bit of familiarity for the first time on Monday when he returns to Cowboys Stadium as Washington takes on his former team.
Much like in the past two weeks, when Barry Cofield faced the New York Giants and Tim Hightower stared into the eyes of Arizona defenders, Bowen is doing his best to focus on taking care of business. He acknowledged that he remains friends with several Cowboys players, including running back Tashard Choice and linebacker DeMarcus Ware, but their interaction in the days leading up to the game may be limited simply to a casual dinner Sunday night.
No phone calls. No trash talk.
"I don't want them to get a vibe for how we're feeling," Bowen said.
A victory would push the Redskins to 3-0 for the first time since 2005. Perhaps more importantly for Bowen, it would cap off what will certainly be an emotional weekend both on and off the field.
Bowen's son, Stephen III, is scheduled to be released from an area hospital tomorrow, nearly three months after he was born. Bowen's wife, Tiffany, gave birth to twins on June 28, four months premature, and Skyler died 10 days later.
When Bowen made the choice to sign with the Redskins, he did so knowing he would likely be away from his family for a significant period of time. Tiffany and 2-year-old daughter Trinity finally moved to Northern Virginia earlier this month, when Stephen III was transferred from a Dallas hospital, and he now weighs over six pounds--up from just two at birth.
REDSKINS (2-0) at COWBOYS (1-1) WHEN: Monday, 8:30 WHERE: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas TV: ESPN