Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

November 21, 2012

Cowboys-Redskins on Thanksgiving? No biggie to RG3

IRVING, Texas — Robert Griffin III, the Texas-bred quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy at Baylor, comes to his home state for the first time as a pro for the most traditional of Thanksgiving rivalries - Cowboys vs. Redskins.

Hold on a minute with all that drama and emotion building for Thursday's game. The Washington rookie grew up in Central Texas rooting for the Denver Broncos.

"It's one game and that's what we've got,'' Griffin said. "We've got the Dallas Cowboys, and that's what I'm going to play like.''

Hold on another minute before deciding he is completely blowing off the pretty cool idea that he's coming home for a big game on a unique stage. He gets it.

"It will be fun. I'll see a lot of familiar faces,'' Griffin said. "It's Cowboys-Redskins or Redskins-Cowboys, whatever way you want to put it. Me being a Texas kid, I know how big the rivalry is and I get my fair shot at it.''

Griffin has practical reasons for approaching Thursday's game as one Washington needs to win. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo does, too.

The Redskins (4-6) kept themselves in the playoff conversation by coming off the bye with a 31-6 blowout of Philadelphia, sparked by 14 of 15 passing and four touchdowns from Griffin. A win puts the Cowboys (5-5) a half-game behind the New York Giants in the NFC East five days after they risked ruining their season against last-place Cleveland before winning 23-20 in overtime.

"It started for us two weeks back,'' Romo said. "We've been putting our head down and grinding, going forward and trying put together win after win.''

The Cowboys have played the Redskins more than any other team in their annual Thanksgiving home game, and Dallas has won all six previous meetings. The Cowboys also are trying to win their fourth straight against Washington, which would be the longest streak in eight years.

But the Redskins haven't brought a quarterback like Griffin into this game in a long time. Statistically, he's ahead of the other four rookies who began the season as starters, and he's right there with most of the veterans. He's one of six quarterbacks with a rating of at least 100, completing 67 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

The Redskins lost six of eight after Griffin's remarkable debut in a win at New Orleans, so maybe it was easy to forget about him. He sort of reminded everyone by picking apart the Eagles. He's also in the top 20 in rushing in the NFL with 613 yards. The next quarterback is Cam Newton at 394. The Cowboys have faced both.

"You can't really go into a game worried about this guy scrambling because it will slow you up and probably put you in a worse situation than just trying to go after him,'' said Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears. "Obviously, we have to have awareness of where he is and where he can escape.''

Griffin isn't the only runner the Redskins have. Another rookie, Alfred Morris, is fifth in the league with 869 yards rushing, and Washington is one of four teams with two games of 200-plus yards on the ground this season.

The Dallas running game is struggling through the extended absence of starter DeMarco Murray and an offensive line that is also battling injuries.

Murray is likely to miss his sixth straight game against the Redskins, and backup Felix Jones is battling a knee injury that could limit him. Without those two, the Cowboys would have to rely on a pair of undrafted players in rookie Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner. In five games without Murray, the Cowboys have rushed for 100 yards once.

"We've shuffled guys through, but it hasn't just been there, it's been everywhere really,'' Romo said. "Our offensive line, we've had to move guys around and do different things.''

Romo was sacked a career-high seven times by the Browns behind a line that started the game with a new center and a replacement guard, and ended up having to fill in for left tackle Tyson Smith when he sprained an ankle. One of the few constants, right tackle Doug Free, has been the focus of questions all week after he was beaten repeatedly by Cleveland.

"Every game you can look at it and say I did this wrong, I did that wrong,'' Free said. "Some are worse than others, but I mean every game you've got things to work on, things to fix. You've got to stay focused on the task at hand.''

The Washington defense has lost several starters to injury, and even linebacker London Fletcher is in danger of missing a game for the first time in his 15-year career. He's tied with Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber for the league's longest active streak at 234 straight games, but he injured an ankle last weekend against the Eagles and faced the short week of recovery time.

"It matters to London. It matters to us, not necessarily the streak, but playing,'' Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "And there is a reason why he has played all those games because he plays when he is hurt and hopefully he will be able to play.''

Griffin will play, and plenty of folks from the hometown of Copperas Cove, Texas, will be at Cowboys Stadium, where he's 1-0 after beating Texas Tech in a neutral site game for the Bears last year, although he left early with concussion-like symptoms.

"He's kind of a different guy,'' Shanahan said. "He's pretty relaxed no matter where he goes or who he's with. It just seems like he's pretty cool, calm and collected. He handles different stages as good as anybody I've been around.''



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • VYPE Oklahoma Football Preview magazine available Thursday

    The VYPE Oklahoma High School/College football preview magazine will be available on Thursday across Rogers County.

    July 22, 2014

  • OUTDOORS: Abu Garcia Revo Beast wins Best Freshwater Reel Award

    The Abu Garcia Revo Beast has been awarded the Best Freshwater Reel Award at the 2014 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. The new reel tests the limits of what is possible for a baitcast reel.

    July 22, 2014

  • AP Source: Cavs set on signing Wiggins

    Andrew Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cavaliers. It's still not clear if he'll play for them.

    A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cavs will sign the No. 1 overall pick to his deal, an agreement that would prevent any potential trade involving the small forward from being completed for 30 days.

    July 22, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Drillers rout Cardinals in series opener

    The Tulsa Drillers began their series in Spingfield in ideal fashion with a 7-1 win over the Cardinals Monday night.
     
    Taylor Featherston's monster night combined with yet another masterful start from Carlos Hernandez to produce the Tulsa victory.

    July 22, 2014

  • OSU Football Fan Appreciation Day set for Aug. 2

    Oklahoma State fans can officially start the 2014 Cowboy football season on Aug. 2 when OSU hosts its annual Fan Appreciation Day, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

    July 22, 2014

  • GOLF: Molini-Risenhoover win Heritage Hills Invitational title

    Levi Molini and Brad Risenhoover teamed together to take top honors in the Heritage Hills Invitational held this past weekend.
    Molini and Risenhoover posted a two-day total of 120 — shooting a 58-62 — in the championship flight to claim the overall tournament winner.

    July 22, 2014

  • NSU women's tennis tryout set for Aug. 27

    The Northeastern State women's tennis team will host tryouts at 3 p.m. Aug. 27 at the NSU Tennis Complex for the upcoming 2015 season.

    July 22, 2014

  • NSU Football Meet and Greet set for July 28

    Northeastern State football coach Rob Robinson and staff have announced the date for the first NSU Football Meet and Greet to help promote the upcoming 2014 season.

    July 22, 2014