Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth wasn't feeling the holiday cheer when he sounded off about Washington defensive coordinator Greg Blache and what he contends is an overly restrictive defensive scheme.

After Haynesworth was banished from practice on Christmas - reportedly after being late for a team meeting - he told the Washington Post that he could not "survive another season in [the Redskins' defensive] system if it stays the way it is."

On Friday, Haynesworth was sent home from practice by coach Jim Zorn for what Zorn vaguely described as disciplinary reasons.

Tonight, the Redskins (4-10) play the Dallas Cowboys (9-5), and Haynesworth is expected to play.

"If they keep this system the way it is, then they would label Albert Haynesworth 'a bust who didn't live up to the contract,' " said Haynesworth, who signed a $41 million deal in the offseason as a free agent. "Everybody would say 'He just took the money and ran off.' And I'm still playing as hard as I possibly can."

Vikings. Minnesota's defense still ranks No. 8, but it has sagged lately, giving up an average of 335 yards and 22 points over the last three games. Not surprisingly, the Vikings (11-3) lost two of those games, to Arizona and Carolina.

But there's relief in sight. Tomorrow night, Minnesota plays 5-9 Chicago - 29th in rushing offense, 19th in passing.