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NFL Game Summary - Washington at Dallas
(Thursday, November 22nd)
Final Score: Washington 38, Dallas 31
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Robert Griffin III threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving Day game, as the Washington Redskins held off the Dallas Cowboys, 38-31, on Thursday in an NFC East clash at Cowboys Stadium.
Griffin, who fired four touchdown passes in Sunday's victory over Philadelphia, finished 20-of-28 with one interception, becoming the first Washington quarterback to throw four TD passes in consecutive games.
"I couldn't have had a better homecoming, or as my dad would say, business trip," Griffin remarked of his first pro start in Texas where he made his name as a high school and college star.
Alfred Morris carried the ball 24 times for 113 yards and a score as the Redskins (5-6) snapped a three-game losing streak against the Cowboys.
Tony Romo threw for 441 yards on 37-of-62 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the setback. The Dallas signal-caller had been undefeated in his previous five starts on Thanksgiving Day.
Dez Bryant hauled in eight passes for 145 yards and a pair of scores for the Cowboys (5-6), who had won their last two games.
"We didn't do enough on offense to keep up with them in the first half," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of his team's slow start. "I thought our team responded well in the second half to get us back in the ballgame and make it a one-score game, but ultimately it wasn't enough to beat this team."
Dallas struck first on its opening touch of the game, as Dan Bailey nailed a 30-yard field goal, but the Redskins scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter to build a comfortable advantage.
After the team's exchanged punts following Bailey's field goal, Griffin used a deep strike to give the Redskins the lead, as he faked a handoff and uncorked a deep ball for Aldrick Robinson, who got behind the secondary and hauled in the 68-yard TD to make it 7-3 two minutes into the second stanza.
The Cowboys seemed poised to answer on their next touch after Romo converted a 3rd-and-2 with an 11-yard toss to Bryant, but the third-year wideout fumbled at the Washington 38 and DeJon Gomes returned it to the Dallas 49 to set up Washington's next score.
Griffin kept the ensuing series alive with a 9-yard toss to Santana Moss on 3rd-and-2, and after a pass interference penalty in the end zone placed the ball at the 1-yard line, Morris surged into the end zone, capping the 6-play, 49-yard drive.
After a three-and-out from the Cowboys, the Redskins used another quick strike from Griffin to build a 21-3 advantage.
Griffin kept the series going with an 8-yard pass to Brandon Banks on 3rd- and-4 and two plays later, fired a strike over the middle for Pierre Garcon, who snatched the ball out of the air and outran the defense for a 59-yard touchdown to make it a three-score game late in the second half.
The Cowboys tried to put some points on the board before halftime, but Romo was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall at the Washington 40 and Hall returned it 27 yards.
Morris ripped off a 16-yard run down to the Dallas six on the third play of the ensuing touch and with five seconds left, Griffin rolled right and found Moss in the right side of the end zone and he tapped his toes along the sideline while making the grab, sending the Redskins into the locker room holding a 28-3 advantage.
Dallas' opening drive of the second half resulted in a 33-yard field goal from Bailey, but neither team managed much over the rest of the quarter until Romo used the longest play of his career to keep his squad stay in the game.
Following a three-and-out from the Redskins late in the third, Romo found Bryant across the middle on the first play of the ensuing trek. Bryant caught the pass and turned up the sideline before outrunning the defense for an 85- yard TD to bring Dallas within 28-13 with 1:24 left in the fourth.
But Washington quickly distanced themselves as Griffin completed all four passes on a 7-play, 82-yard march, including a 29-yard touchdown toss to Niles Paul, who was wide open thanks to a beautiful play fake from Griffin.
Dallas wouldn't go away, however, as Romo completed his first three passes of the ensuing possession to move the Cowboys to the Washington 26.
Cole Beasley's 12-yard reception moved the Cowboys to the Washington 14, and on 3rd-and-6, Romo found Felix Jones leaking out of the backfield and Jones crossed the goal line for a 10-yard touchdown.
Romo then dove across the goal line for the two-point conversion to bring Dallas within 35-21 with 9:54 remaining.
The Cowboys quickly got the ball back on the second play of Washington's ensuing touch when Griffin overthrew Josh Morgan across the middle. Charlie Peprah made a diving interception and returned it 27 yards to the Washington 18.
After back-to-back incompletions forced the Cowboys into a 4th-and-3 from the Washington 11, Romo threw a back-shoulder fade to Bryant, who hauled in the 11-yard score to make it a 35-28 margin with 8:18 left in the fourth.
Washington was able to hold Dallas at bay, though, as Griffin and Morris led the Redskins on a methodical 11-play, 50-yard drive, which chewed up over five minutes of clock and was capped by Kai Forbath's 48-yard field goal to make it a two-score game with less than three minutes remaining.
Romo quickly moved the Cowboys into scoring range, but a spike and back-to- back incompletions forced a fourth down, and Dallas elected for a 51-yard field goal, which Bailey buried to make it 38-31 with 18 seconds left.
Dallas attempted an onside kick, but Hall snagged the ball and returned it 43 yards before sliding at the 2-yard line. Griffin then came out for one final kneel down to seal the victory.
The Redskins' last win on Thanksgiving Day came in 1973, when George Allen's Redskins defeated the Detroit Lions, 20-0, at Tiger Stadium ... Washington's 28-point second quarter was the most in a single quarter since scoring 28 against Carolina on Oct. 3, 1999 ... The Cowboys had won all six meetings between the teams on Thanksgiving ... Dallas dropped to 28-16-1 on Thanksgiving Day.
11/22 22:06:17 ET
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