The Cowboys will host the Redskins, not having forgotten the humiliation that was Thanksgiving 2012. This time, the Cowboys will have Sean Lee ready to go, who never played against Griffin in his rookie year.
Sean Lee, DAL: Sean Lee will most likely be the single biggest impact player on the field in this game. Griffin and the Redskins run game were able to dominate Dallas up and down the field in 2012 when Lee wasn’t there. Lee, who is the second best defender on the team, is usually a stud against the run game. The Redskins and Griffin should not have as much success on the ground with Lee in the mix.
Josh Morgan, WAS: Pierre Garcon will be out of this game, meaning Josh Morgan, supported bySantana Moss, will have to the the man for Griffin. If Morgan is unable to take a large role, the Redskins offense could struggle through the air, and become too one dimensional running it over and over at Sean Lee.
Quarter by Quarter:
Q1: The Cowboys will receive the opening kickoff, but the return will be half hearted, only getting to the 15 yard line. Tony Romo will look pretty good on the drive though, but Miles Austin will drop a pass on 3rd down at the Cowboys 30 and Dallas will have to punt. The Redskins will have no problem moving the ball with their opportunity, as Fred Davis and Alfred Morris each catch multiple passes before Griffin throws a 15 yard TD to Aldrick Robinson and the Redskins take a quick 7-0 lead. The Cowboys get a good return out but fumble at their own 30 and the Redskins have the ball back just like that. After converting on two third downs, Morris takes a 3 yard carry to the endzone and the Redskins extend to a 14-0 lead. The Cowboys receive the kickoff and kneel it, looking to get something going on offense now, Romo drives to the opposing ten on a strong looking drive, and the quarter ends.
Q2: The Cowboys, in terrific scoring position will try to cut the lead down to a single TD. On third down, Brian Orakpo gets the better of Tyron Smith and catches Romo behind the line of scrimmage and the Cowboys only get a field goal, but cut the game down to 14-3. The Redskins look shaky on the following drive, as Griffin only gets completions on third downs. But from the Cowboys 40, Jason Hatcher applies pressure and Griffin puts a ball right into the hands of Morris Claiborne. Claiborne gets a good return out, but makes a nice cut and shakes a would be tackle from Moss and has a clear lane to the endzone, and Dallas trims the lead, 14-10. The Redskins will try to regain their earlier lead, but will have to punt. Dallas will also punt, and Washington will get a good drive to the Cowboys 30, and get a field goal right before the half, and after 2, the Redskins are up, 17-10.
Q3: The Redskins will get the ball, with only a one score lead on Dallas. Griffin looks very sharp on the following drive, getting his first good run out, for 20 yards. Santana Moss makes a deep reception, and Griffin throws a TD to Alfred Morris on a screen, and just like that, the Redskins are once again up 24-10. The Cowboys will be feeling the pressure, down two scores in the second half of a game. Romo will look off target though, and Murray will have a tough time running in the third, and the Cowboys get nothing. They punt, and the Redskins return all the way to the Cowboys 10. The defense holds however, and forces a field goal, but the Redskins take a 27-10 lead as Dallas starts to worry. The teams trade punts, until the quarter ends, with Dallas possessing the ball on the Redskins 35.
Q4: Tony Romo will have to create a remarkable comeback, and he will get going instantly. Romo drives 10 yards, before putting a jumpball up for Bryant and Hall. Bryant, being the bigger man and a standout at tough catches, makes the catch and Dallas cuts the lead 27-17. The Redskins will get the ball and go on a long, good looking drive. It looks like the Redskins are going to put the finishing TD in, but Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne each deflect a pass and on fourth down, the ‘Skins get a field goal instead, 30-17. Romo will be under pressure to score on the next drive, since only 6 minutes are left. Romo converts on 2 4th downs, before Miles Austin makes a catch for 5 yards in the endzone, pulling Dallas to withing 6, 30-24, and about 3:30 to go. The Redkins run the ball twice, and on the next play, Griffin runs around in the pocket, looking to pass it on third down for the first. But with Jason Hatcher closing in, Griffin throws a shaky pass and it falls incomplete. The Redskins punt, and Dallas has the ball with about 2:30 to go and two timeouts, from their own 20 to score a TD and win the game. Romo is sacked on the first play, and the Cowboys take it to the 2 minute warning. Romo plays the hurry up offense with short 5-7 yard completions to get the ball to the Redskins 40, leaving 1:00 on the clock, with all 3 timeouts. Romo drops back on the next play, and when he sees the hole, breaks out a 10 yard run and Dallas calls the timeout. Dwyane Harris then catches a pass for 12 yards and gets out of bounds. 2 incomlete passes later, Dallas has 30 seconds and 2 timeouts to score a TD from the 18. Romo gets a 9 yard completion to Witten before calling the timeout on 4th and 1. Romo drops back and throws to the endzone, to Bryant, but there is a PI call on DeAngelo Hall and the Cowboys have the ball at the goal line on first down, with 20 second and 1 timeout to work with. Romo does play action, and rolling out, finds Cole Beasley in the endzone wide open, and Dallas takes a 31-30 lead, leaving 12 seconds on the clock. Washington goes a desperation Hail Mary, but it is incomplete (Sterling Moore) and the Cowboys complete a remarkable comeback and improve to 6-3.