Finally, after being in existence in some form for 23 years, the Galloping Gobbler is rightfully in Washington, D.C.
The Galloping Gobbler — or the Thanksgiving Day game MVP award handed out each year by Fox, CBS, NBC and the NFL Network — on Thursday was rightfully awarded to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Griffin III torched the Cowboys’ defense to the tune of 311 yards passing and four touchdowns in the Redskins’ 38-31 win, and in doing so, became the first Redskins player to ever take home the Galloping Gobbler.
Why was it so important for Griffin III to take this title? In the three Thanksgiving Day games played by the Redskins since the Galloping Gobbler era began in 1989, the award has gone to members of the Dallas Cowboys — and all three times, it went to a player very familiar to Washington fans.
In 1990, Dallas running back Emmitt Smith and quarterback Troy Aikman shared the honors in the Cowboys’ 27-17 Thanksgiving Day win over the Redskins at Texas Stadium. Smith rushed 32 times for 132 yards and two touchdowns, while Aikman completed 20-of-31 passes for 222 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Redskins’ candidate that year should’ve been defensive end Fred Stokes, who had 2.5 sacks of Aikman on the day.
In 1996, it was Smith, again, who torched the Redskins’ defense for 155 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 21-10 Thanksgiving win. Smith was awarded his second Galloping Gobbler of the series.
Again, the Redskins’ candidate that day would’ve been on the defensive side of the ball, as linebacker Ken Harvey sacked Aikman twice.
The 2002 matchup meant a three-peat for Smith, who continued to etch his name in Galloping Gobbler lore. The NFL’s all-time leading rusher ran that day for 144 yards — though he didn’t find the end zone — in the Cowboys’ 27-20 win over the Redskins.
This time around, there were a few candidates for the Redskins, including:
- Quarterback Danny Wuerrfel: 21-of-36, 243 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions
– Wide receiver Derrius Thompson: six catches for 94 yards, touchdown
– Defensive end Bruce Smith: two sacks
So congrats to Griffin III for breaking this Galloping Gobbler curse and bringing home the award to D.C.
Tags: dallas cowboys, Galloping Gobbler, thanksgiving, washington redskins
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