Happy Thanksgiving, Redskins fans.
Your team is escaping Cowboys Stadium tonight with a 38-31 win over the rival Dallas Cowboys in a game seen by millions on national TV.
It was certainly an interesting fourth quarter here in Jerry Land.
The Redskins struck first in the fourth quarter with a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Niles Paul. Paul was wide open on the play, caught the ball, fell down and had enough time to walk into the end zone.
The play capped a seven-play, 82 yard drive that took 3:32 off the clock.
The Cowboys responded with a quick, successful drive that got them into the red zone before quarterback Tony Romo found running back Felix Jones for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 9:54 remaining in the game. The Cowboys elected to go for two, and Romo — lined up in the shotgun — dove into the end zone to convert, cutting the Redskins’ lead to 35-21.
Dallas’ offense was making some moves on the Redskins’ defense here in this quarter. Part of that has to do with the Redskins playing soft coverage with a large lead, but there’s definitely some plays on film that will be heavily scrutinized by the Washington coaches and the players.
On the ensuing drive, Griffin III was intercepted by safety Charlie Peprah. Griffin III was trying to find wide receiver Joshua Morgan over the middle, but the play simply wasn’t there. It was the first major mistake by Griffin III in his last three games.
This thing got interesting, and quick. The Cowboys got the ball back at the Washington 18-yard line after the 27-yard return.
Romo found receiver Dez Bryant for seven yards on their first play of the drive before bouncing a pass to tight end Jason Witten. On 3rd and 3, Romo was unable to hook up with running back Lance Dunbar, but they decided to go for it on fourth down.
On 4th and 3, Romo found Bryant for an 11-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. Cornerback Josh Wilson was unable to make a play on the pass, which was placed perfectly between Wilson and the turf.
So that touchdown and extra point made the score 35-28.
The Redskins began the ensuing drive with a running play that lost a yard by Alfred Morris, but the next play — a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Santana Moss — helped heal that initial sting.
After two Morris runs, the Redskins faced a 3rd and 2 from the Dallas 49-yard line, and, again, Griffin III found Moss to convert the first down. Two plays later, Griffin III found receiver Leonard Hankerson, who fought his way for 12 yards.
But they faced another 3rd down and 8 three plays later after Griffin III was unable to find the hole on an option keeper. Griffin III’s pass to receiver Pierre Garcon was hit off his hands as he slid to the ground to try to get to the low pass.
But Redskins kicker Kai Forbath nailed a 48-yard field goal to help ease the tension. It was an 11-play, 50-yard drive that took 5:20 off the clock, as Forbath remains a perfect 10-for-10 on the season to extend the Redskins’ lead to 38-28.
The Cowboys began the ensuing drive at their own 21-yard line with 2:53 remaining. After escaping the pocket and gaining six yards by himself and then being unable to complete a pass, Romo and the Cowboys faced a 3rd and 4 when Dunbar was found for a 14-yard gain and the first down.
But on the very next play, Romo finally couldn’t escape anymore. He was sacked for an 11-yard loss by outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan — giving him a team-leading 6.5 sacks on the season. The yardage was given right back on the next play — a 13-yard pass to Witten — and on 3rd and 8, Romo again found Witten for 10 yards and the first down.
After a three-yard completion to Bryant — who got out of bounds with the clock at 1:03 — Romo again tried to find Bryant deep in the end zone, but Redskins safety Madieu Williams knocked the ball out of his hands right after he landed.
After another first down — an 11-yard pass to Dunbar — Romo killed the clock with a spike. Romo and Dunbar were unable to hook up on the next pass, setting up a 3rd and 10 from the Washington 34-yard line. Romo’s pass fell out of the back of the end zone.
On 4th and 10, the Cowboys elected to attempt a 50-yard field goal with Dan Bailey. Bailey nailed the kick to cut the lead to 38-31.
The ensuing onside kick, however, was picked up by cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who was untouched and could’ve easily scored on the return. After 43 yards and getting to the two-yard line, Hall elected to selflessly slide to let Griffin III milk the rest of the clock for the victory.
REMINDER: There will be no press conference tomorrow with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, but he will be conducting a conference call with the media at 3 p.m. Check Redskins.com and our Twitter page for complete coverage.
CHIME IN: What did you think of today’s game? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, dallas cowboys, thanksgiving, washington redskins
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