Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/22/12
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Robert Griffin III downplayed his return to Texas all week. The rookie definitely played up to the rivalry. Griffin torched the Dallas Cowboys for 311 yards and four touchdowns Thursday, as the Washington Redskins rode out of Cowboys Stadium with a 38-31 victory before 90,166 fans. The Redskins beat Dallas for the first time in seven meetings on Thanksgiving and snapped a three-game losing streak in the storied series. "It's a heated rivalry, but I think at one point the fans were more cheering for people that they like rather than their team," Griffin said. "I played here for a long time, so I know there are a lot of fans of me and my family." Washington (5-6) has also won two in a row to stay within striking distance the NFC East-leading New York Giants (6-4). The Cowboys (5-6) came into their annual holiday home game riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak in what supposedly was the soft part of the schedule. Dallas finds itself with a losing record again and having to answer questions another uneven showing. "We've got to play better and we've got to play this team again," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, referring to the trip to Washington to conclude the regular season Dec. 30. Griffin played at Cowboys Stadium last year, leading Baylor over Texas Tech. The Heisman winner had to enjoy his return even more, especially during the second quarter. The Redskins rolled up 28 points in the second quarter to bury Dallas. Griffin was a perfect 8-for-8 passing for 178 yards and three touchdowns, including strikes of 68 and 59 yards. Cowboys defenders were helpless against the onslaught. "It just felt like we were out there showing not only ourselves and the Cowboys but everybody what we're capable of," Griffin said. "I think everybody showed up today ready to go, even with the short week. "And that's something we've got to do every week. Everybody's got to show up ready to play. And I couldn't be any more proud of everybody." Griffin is the first player in Washington history with at least four touchdown passes in consecutive games. "He's kind of like Cool Hand Luke," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "He doesn't get too upset about anything. He handles himself and goes about his business. "He works extremely hard to prepare for a game because he avoids distractions. He focuses on his job and doesn't let anything bother him. That's why he's had the success he's had. The Cowboys did make the game interesting with 25 points in the second half, including an 85-yard catch-and-run between Tony Romo and Dez Bryant that was the longest Dallas touchdown pass since 2000. Bryant followed up Sunday's career-high 145 yards receiving by matching that effort, along with two touchdowns. "The mindset is the same. We're not going to quit," Bryant said. "I think it's a special group. I know it's not showing by our record, but we're fighting hard. We were down 28 -- to be honest I didn't even know -- we didn't blink. "We knew that we had to fight, eliminate this little stuff. That's what we did. We just ran out of time." Dallas pulled within seven points with 8 1/2 minutes to play after scoring a second touchdown in less than two minutes. Washington responded with a clock-chewing, 11-play drive that ended with Kai Forbath's 48-yard field goal and a 38-28 lead with 3:03 left. Dan Bailey had a 51-yard field goal with 18 seconds left for Dallas. The Redskins recovered an onside kick to end the game. Dallas didn't help itself with two second-quarter turnovers -- a Romo interception and a fumble by Dez Bryant. Washington turned both into touchdowns. The start, at least, was promising for the Cowboys. They didn't have far to go on their initial possession, starting at midfield after a Redskins punt. Dallas moved the ball inside the Washington 10, but a false start by Witten stalled the drive. The Cowboys settled for Bailey's 30-yard field goal. Despite the missed opportunity, Dallas scored first in a game for only the third time this season. That lead held up for the rest of the first quarter. The Redskins managed just 46 yards of offense and punted twice in the opening 15 minutes. Griffin was 3-of-6 passing for 30 yards and was sacked once. It was a different story for Griffin and the Redskins in the in the second quarter. Washington went 98 yards for its first score, the last 68 coming on a perfectly thrown bomb from Griffin to Aldrick Robinson. The ball easily traveled 60 yards through the air. The Cowboys were moving on the ensuing possession before Washington caused the game's first turnover. Bryant caught a slant only to get popped by cornerback Josh Wilson. The ball popped free and was recovered by safety DeJon Gomes, who returned it to the Dallas 49. Griffin went to work from there. The No. 1 pick rifled passes to Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon before a pass inference set up a first-and-goal from the 1. Alfred Morris (113 yards rushing) walked into the end zone, as Washington went up 14-3 midway through the second period. Griffin and Garcon hooked on a 59-yard touchdown pass with 2:14 left in the half. Garcon hauled in another bullet near the middle of the field and outran Cowboys defenders to the goal line. The Redskins put the finishing touchdowns on a near perfect second quarter by converting a DeAngelo Hall pick of Romo into another touchdown. Starting at the Dallas 33 with 30 seconds left in the half, Griffin needed just four plays and 25 seconds to find Moss on a 6-yard score. NOTES: Washington QB Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (foot) missed his sixth consecutive game. Also inactive for Dallas were DT Jay Ratliff, C/G Ryan Cook, C Phil Costa, WR Kevin Ogletree, DT Sean Lissemore and CB Vince Agnew. ... Redskins inactives are: QB Rex Grossman, WR Dezmon Briscoe, CB Richard Crawford, G Adam Gettis, G/T Maurice Hurt, DE Doug Worthington and CB Jerome Murphy. ... Dallas LT Tyron Smith was active, but didn't start. Jermey Parnell started in his place.
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