This Thanksgiving, the Redskins celebrate

Now, this is getting to be fun. Sure, the Redskins may be 5-6, but they’re in position to make a nice little run, given the NFC East. Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan acknowledged as much after the Redskins beat the Cowboys 38-31 in Dallas. At 5-6, they’re getting healthy and don’t play until a week from Monday, when they face the New York Giants. Between now and then, the 6-4 Giants must get past the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

Thanks for spending your Thanksgiving with us. We’ll see you back here Dec. 3. 

RGIII: “Every game is big for us at this point”

Robert Griffin III opened his press conference with a happy, “Hello. How’s everybody doing? I just want to say happy Thanksgiving to all the Redskins fans out there and everybody else.”

On his mindset about playing in Texas, where he grew up and played in college:

“I was good emotionally. … I got to see my Baylor coach, Coach Art Briles. I hadn’t seen him in a long time, so it was good to see him and just be back in Texas. I … just had that feeling, like I was back home where I had spent so many years. But it didn’t drive me through the roof emotionally as far as getting charged up for the game. It was a normal game, even thought it was a Thanksgiving game. Every game is big for us at this point and that’s the way we approached it.”

On how he and his receivers, particularly Pierre Garcon, are clicking:

“It was awesome. I told those guys if they ball out like they have been, we can’t be stopped. I’m sittin’ there having a conversation with Trent [Williams] as Pierre is running on his long touchdown and I was like, ‘Oh, man, that was a great catch.’ I had to throw it to only that spot and you don’t see many guys make catches like that. But that’s why we brought him here. He’s making those plays. … I think everyone’s feeding off of each other as far as making those plays. We had the drop issue earlier in the season and I think that’s completely done with and I’m proud of the way those guys are playing now.”

On how the Redskins are “clicking,” but can’t afford to stumble at 5-6:

“We’re clicking at this point and we’re clicking at the right time ’cause every game is important. Every game could be like the last game of our season and that’s the way we approach it. Just don’t panic. Go out there and execute.”

One last time, on returning to Texas:

“I couldn’t have had a better homecoming. Or, as my dad calls it, a business trip.”

Mike Shanahan called RGIII Cool Hand Luke and th QB was asked f he knew who that is:

“He must be pretty cool,” he said with a huge laugh.

And, by the way, he doesn’t know who Cool Hand Luke is. 

Kai Forbath: Game-winners are “what you do this for”

Kai Forbath has been nothing but money for the Redskins:

“I tried not to think about what the situation was and just go out there and [say] ‘I hit this kick in warmups five different times.’ Why miss it?” he said in a Comcast SportsNet interview with Rob Carlin. “There’s no reason to. I trusted my training and knew that if I hit it cleanly and kept my eyes back it, it was going to go in.”

“It was pretty loud and intense in there. I just try, as much as you can, to zone out everything that’s going on. I’m just focusing on snapping and hold and me hitting it.”

“Of course. Every kicker wants the opportunity to be on stage and win the game for their team. You don’t want to be in that situation as a team all the time, but definitely game-winners are kind of what you do this for.”

Mike Shanahan: On Garcon, RGIII, Forbath

Quick hits from Coach Mike Shanahan’s postgame press conference…

On Pierre Garcon, who had a solid day despite his foot injury:

“He’s impressed me since he’s been there. … Once he gets the ball in his hands he can make plays. Our job is to try to get the ball in his hands as much as we can. He’s a competitor. He’s got the explosion after he catches. He can go the distance, he’s a blocker and he’s a complete player. I know he’s hurtin’. He played through it, especially on that turf today. I’m really proud of the way that he handled himself and the way he fought through the pain he was dealing with.”

On performance of Robert Griffin III:

“I was very impressed with Robert. We’ve been talking about this since day 1. I think he learns every game. If there is [a] mistake made, he’s very tough on himself. He works through those mistakes during the week. He doesn’t make a lot of the, thank God. He makes things happen.” 

On whether RGIII had extra motivation playing in his home state:

“He’s kind of like Cool Hand Luke. He doesn’t get too upset about anything. He just handles himself [professionally] and goes about his business and works extremely hard to prepare for a game. He knows how to avoid distractions because he focuses on his job. He doesn’t seem to let anything bother him. That’s why he has the success he has because he is very disciplined and determined. He works at it.”

On Kai Forbath:

“I’m impressed with Kai being able to come up with a field goal there in the last couple minutes of the game. It was a heck of a job by him, but more importantly it was a game we needed and I’m really pleased with our total effort.”


Kevin Durant approves.

Redskins hold off Cowboys, 38-31

The Washington Redskins won their second game in a row by beating the Dallas Cowboys, 38-31, in a critical NFC East matchup. The Redskins move to 5-6 and get to one and a half games behind the division-leading New York Giants, who Washington next plays on Dec. 3 at FedEx Field. Robert Griffin III finished with four touchdown passes and 311 yards on 20 of 28 completions with one interception.

Cowboys get field goal to cut lead to 38-31

Dan Bailey’s 51-yard field goal with 18 seconds to play draws the Cowboys to 38-31 with 18 seconds to play. Onside kick pending.

Kai Forbath gives Redskins 38-28 lead

Redskins place kicker Kai Forbath booted a 48-yard field goal with 3:03 to play to give the Redskins a 38-28 lead. The kick had plenty of distance and more important forces the Cowboys to score twice with just one timeout remaining.

Alfred Morris goes over 100 yards

Redskins running back Alfred Morris went over 100 yards on his 21st carry. Through three and a half quarters, the rookie has 105 yards on 22 carries for his first 100-yard game since Week 7.

Cowboys inch closer with Dez Bryant touchdown

Dez Bryant caught his second touchdown pass from Tony Romo, this one an 11-yard diving reception in the front of the end zone with Josh Wilson in coverage, to draw the Cowboys to 35-28 with 8:24 to play. The touchdown came following the first interception of the game for Robert Griffin III.

Robert Griffin III intercepted

Robert Griffin III was intercepted by backup safety Charlie Peprah on a play Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan challenged. Officials confirmed the call on the field, and Dallas took over deep in Redskins territory.

Cowboys answer with touchdown

Redskins safety DeJon Gomes returns a fumble against the Cowboys. (Associated Press)

The Dallas Cowboys are trying to make it interesting following Tomy Romo’s check-down pass to running back Felix Jones that resulted in a 10-yard touchdown. Romo then ran in the two-point conversion to get the Cowboys within 35-21 with 10:01 to play.

Robert Griffin III tosses fourth touchdown

In case any Cowboys supporters were entertaining thoughts of an improbable comeback, Robert Griffin III just about dashed those hopes with his fourth touchdown pass, this one covering 29 yards to tight end Niles Paul. The Redskins lead, 35-13, with 12:57 to play.

Third quarter takeaway… The Redskins remain in control

The Cowboys made the game interesting again with Dez Bryant’s long touchdown. But the Redskins remain pretty firmly in control. Just one more field goal pretty much would put things out of reach and leave the Redskins, if the Giants lose Sunday night to the Packers, playing for a share of first place when they host the Giants on Dec. 3.


Dez Bryant scores on 85-yard catch

Wide receiver Dez Bryant scores on a 85-yard reception late in the third quarter to draw Cowboys within 28-13. (Associated Press)

The Dallas Cowboys finally showed some life on an 85-yard pass from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant, who beat Josh Wilson and ran untouched into the end zone. The touchdown gets Dallas within 28-13 with 1:38 to play in the third quarter.

Redskins defense doing its part

While Robert Griffin III is providing offensive fireworks, the Redskins defense has done a tremendous job not just thwarting Tony Romo but also stifling the running game. The Cowboys have managed just 29 rushing yards on 10 carries with one first down. Those numbers don’t stand to increase by much considering the Cowboys now are compelled to throw almost every down.

London Fletcher a 20/30 man

That interception was the 20th of London Fletcher’s career and he’s the third active player with 20 interceptions and 30 sacks.

The others, you ask?

The Chicago Bears’ Brian Urlacher and the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis.

Tony Romo intercepted again

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tossed his second interception of the game, this one to linebacker London Fletcher on a badly underthrown pass intended for Jason Witten. Romon usually starts unraveling in December. This is a bit early, but certainly the Redskins will take it.

Jimmy Johnson’s clarification

Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson mentioned the words “Robert Griffin III” and “NFL MVP” in the same sentence. He just provided more clarity on Twitter, but was still clearly in a lather over what he’s seen from the Redskins’ rookie.


Redskins turning Cowboys one-dimensional

With a comfortable lead, the Redskins are forcing Tony Romo to throw, which in many instances has spelled disaster for the Cowboys. Romo has more interceptions (14) this season than touchdowns (13), and with the running game a virtual non-factor the rest of the way, the Redskins can tee off rushing the passer and force bad throws.

Giving thanks for RGIII … and others

Scandrick out

Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has a broken hand…as if things weren’t tough enough for the Dallas defense.

Cowboys get field goal to start second half

Tony Romo is responsible for one of the Cowboys’ two first-half turnovers. (Associated Press).

The Cowboys got a 33-yard field goal from Dan Bailey on their first series on the second half to draw within 28-6, but with the way their defense has been playing, they surely needed a touchdown. Tony Romo was under heavy pressure on third down and didn’t spot Cole Beasley open in the end zone.

Clint Longley not walking out of tunnel

The odds of the Redskins blowing a 25-point lead are slim to none, and for those still sick from that 1974 Thanksgiving game when Clint Longley relieved an injured Roger Staubach to lead the Cowboys to a 24-23 come-from-behind victory, you can relax. Even in that game, the Cowboys were down just 16-3, considerably less than the current deficit.

Bryce Harper wears RGIII socks

Not so sure about the shoes, though.

Pierre Garcon’s teeth

Redskins pummeling Cowboys, 28-3

Robert Griffin III threw his third touchdown pass, completing a six-yarder to wide receiver Santana Moss, to give Washington a commanding 28-3 lead at halftime. Griffin is 11 for 14 for 208 yards and three touchdowns.

Tony Romo intercepted

Tony Romo was trying to complete a throw to wide receiver Cole Beasley, but cornerback DeAngelo Hall stepped in front of the pass for the juggling interception to set up the Redskins at the Cowboys territory in the final minutes of the first half.

Scandrick has forearm injury

RGIII, master of the fake

From our friends at SBNation:

Redskins score again, 21-3

The Washington Redskins are turning the game into a blowout after wide receiver Pierre Garcon made a fantastic catch of a pass that was behind him from Robert Griffin III and turned it into a 59-yard touchdown and a 21-3 lead with 7:03 to play before halftime. The Cowboys were badly out of position again, allowing the Redskins to score a touchdown on their third straight possession.

Redskins go ahead, 14-3

Robert Griffin III helps stake Redskins to a 14-3 lead. (Associated Press)

Following a turnover by the Cowboys, the Redskins marched 49 yards capped by a one-yard run from rookie running back Alfred Morris for a 14-3 lead. It was the second straight touchdown for the Redskins.

Redskins force turnover

The Redskins got the ball back when Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant fumbled after a reception. Josh Wilson initially fell down in coverage but recovered to force the fumble that DeJon Gomes recovered. It was the fifth fumble for Bryant, who’s had more than his share of brainlocks this season.

Redskins hit big play for touchdown

Robert Griffin III’s 13th touchdown pass of the season gives the Redskins a 7-0 lead. (Associated Press)

Robert Griffin III completed a 68-yard pass to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson for a touchdown to give the Redskins a 7-0 lead with 13:57 left in the second quarter. Griffin faked a handoff to Alfred Morris, then threw perfectly to Robinson, who had gotten well behind the secondary for the easy touchdown.

Miles Austin aggrevates hamstring

Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin jogged to the locker room after trainers worked on his hamstring. His return is questionable.

First quarter takeaway: It’s not pretty so far

It’s about what you would expect with a 4-6 team playing a 5-5 team with a short week of preparation. It’s sloppy. The Cowboys are slowing themselves down on offense with penalties. The Redskins are being very conservative so far on offense. But it’s clear that when the Redskins simply line up and try to block the Cowboys’ defensive front, they can’t do it. And has anyone ever seen someone field a punt in his own end zone like Brandon Banks did?

Brandon Banks puts Redskins in bad spot

Punt returner Brandon Banks fielded a punt at his goal line when he should have let it go into the end zone. That left Washington at its 7 on its third possession, but Robert Griffin III ran for a first down to give the Redskins some breathing room.

Tony Romo off the mark to start

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo missed tight end Jason Witten wide open for what could have been a first down on that last series. It was the third poorly thrown pass by Romo, who also misfired twice to Miles Austin, including in the end zone on the Cowboys’ first drive.

Logan Paulsen whiffs

Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer beat tight end Logan Paulsen for his fifth sack, setting up second down and 17. Spencer faked outside and stepped inside, going by Paulsen without getting touched and dropping Robert Griffin III.

About RGIII and the intentional grounding call…

From the NFL’s former director of officiating:

Cowboys settle for field goal

A false start by Jason Witten helps Redskins limit Cowboys to a field goal on their first possession. (Associated Press)

The Cowboys got the ball at the Redskins 49 after a punt, but quarterback Tony Romo missed several throws to Miles Austin that forced a 30-yard field goal attempt that Dan Bailey converted for the first points. Definitely a win for the Redskins defense also helped by Jason Witten’s false start on third down and seven.

Kickoff gets closer


Redskins-Cowboys kickoff delayed

With the Texans-Lions game in overtime, the NFL announced it has pushed back the start of the Redskins-Cowboys by five minutes, but I’m told the game still will be shown, just in case you were worried about that.


Robert Griffin III unbeaten at Cowboys Stadium

Two streaks collide this afternoon at Cowboys Stadium, where the home team is seeking to improve to 7-0 on Thanksgiving against the Redskins while rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III looks to go 3-0 at Jerry World. As Baylor’s starting quarterback, Griffin twice beat Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium, and he grew up roughly three hours from the sprawling new facility, where the Redskins are 0-3.

Fantasy focus: Redskins at Cowboys

Coach Mike Shanahan, as well as fantasy owners, are hoping for more production out of wide receiver Pierre Garcon. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post).

Following last week’s four-touchdown showing, Robert Griffin III again has become an elite fantasy QB1. He’s a top eight start this week, especially if WR Pierre Garcon can contribute more and stretch the field. Santana Moss is a worthy flex start, and Alfred Morris continues to be a RB1. For the Cowboys, WRs Dez Bryant and Miles Austin should be in your lineups, as should TE Jason Witten, who may be in store for big numbers if LB London Fletcher is unavailable.


Week 12: Redskins at Cowboys

The Washington Redskins scored four touchdowns in the second quarter and taking it too the Dallas Cowboys, 28-3, as they look to gain ground in the NFC East. Follow the discussion in the second half as the the Redskins (4-6) continue to try to remain in the playoff hunt. Boxscore

Other reading material: Homecoming for RGIII | Cowboys-Redskins: Who’s vulnerable | Garcon can produce more | Grade RGIII | Five story lines | Week 12 NFL scoreboard