Thursday, November 22, 2012
Washington Redskins 38, Dallas Cowboys 31
Cowboys get spanked at home on national TV in high-scoring loss.
ARLINGTON The Dallas Cowboys provided an easy showcase for former Baylor standout Robert Griffin III Thursday at Cowboys Stadium, losing 38-31 to the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. The loss dropped Dallas to 5-6, tied with the Redskins, one and a half games behind the 6-4 New York Giants for first place in the NFC East.
Griffin shredded the Dallas defense, particularly in the second quarter, when the Redskins put up 28 unanswered points. After a first quarter where the Dallas defense seemed to keep Griffin in check, he exploded in the second quarter, hitting Aldrick Robinson for a 68 yard pass, then, following a Dez Bryant fumble at the Dallas 49, led his team down the short field for another touchdown, a one yard run by Alfred Morris to make it 14-3.
After the Cowboys went three-and-out, Griffin found Pierre Garcon, who made an athletic catch behind his head before outsprinting the Dallas secondary for a 59-yard touchdown.
With two minutes left, the Cowboys needed a score to swing the momentum. What they got instead was Tony Romo's first interception in 141 pass attempts, which DeAngelo Hall returned 27 yards to the Dallas 33. Four plays later, Griffin hit Santana Moss in the end zone for a 28-3 halftime lead.
Dallas clawed their way back into semi-respectability in the third quarter, with Dan Bailey nailing a short field goal and Romo ending the quarter with an 85-yard bomb to Dez Bryant to make it 28-13. Griffin responded with a seven play, 82 yard drive in which he rushed twice for 18 yards and went 3-for-3 passing, including a 29-yard touchdown on third-and-1 to Niles Paul, to make it 35-13 Washington.
The momentum began to swing back in favor of the Cowboys after that, as Romo went 7-for-9 for 88 yards on the next drive, culminating in a ten yard pass to Felix Jones to make it 35-19. Romo ran in the two-point conversion himself to make it 35-21 with 9:54 left in the game.
On the very next drive, Charlie Peprah intercepted Griffin and returned it to the Redskins' 18, and Romo hit Bryant for seven yards, then eleven for Bryant's second touchdown of the day and a suddenly-competitive 35-28 game with 8:18 remaining.
Griffin then put an end to any hope of a comeback, mounting an 11-play drive that took five minutes off the clock and resulted in a 48-yard field goal. Romo responded with a long drive himself that took far too much time off the clock, ending with a 51-yard field goal with just 18 second remaining. The Redskins recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.
Romo had a good day statistically, going 37-of-62 for 441 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. It was the first-ever Thanksgiving loss in his career, and the first time in seven games that Dallas has lost to Washington on Thanksgiving.
Down by a large margin early, the rushing game was non-existent, as Dallas ran just ten times for a paltry 35 yards. Dez Bryant led all receivers with eight catches for a career high-tying 145 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Jason Witten also added nine catches for 74 yards.
Griffin III finished an efficient 20-of-28 for 311 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Alfred Morris led all rushers with 24 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown, and Pierre Garcon led all Redskins receivers with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Dallas finishes its three-game homestand next Sunday with a game against the reeling 3-7 Philadelphia Eagles.