Daily Archives: November 22nd, 2012

NFC EAST FEAST: Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving loss feeds Washington Redskins divisional hopes

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III scrambles away from the rush of Dallas linebacker Anthony Spencer

ARLINGTON, Texas — When the Washington Redskins’ team plane touched down in Dallas Wednesday, the day before the team would face the Cowboys for Robert Griffin III’s first game as a pro in his home state, the rookie quarterback sent out a tweet.

"Back in Texas and on a mission," Griffin’s message said.

The following day, with family and friends, and his former college coach in attendance, Griffin carried out his mission, leading the Redskins to a 38-31 victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

Griffin, who starred in football and track at Copperas Cove High School in central Texas, and went to college less than a two-hour drive away at Baylor University, looked right at home in Cowboys Stadium. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 311 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, and became the first Redskins quarterback to throw for four touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.

Griffin’s heroics — along with a 24 carry, 113-yard performance by running back Alfred Morris and a defensive effort that forced three turnovers — gave Washington its first Thanksgiving victory over Dallas in seven tries.

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MILESTONES: Achieved during Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys game

Here are the historical notes compiled after todays game with the Washington Redskins:

The Dallas Cowboys had 458 yards of total offense today. It was the second-most total yardage output for the club this season behind its 481 yards at Baltimore (10/14). It was also the club’s fifth 400-yard game of the season – tied for the eighth-most in a season in franchise history. Six times the club had six games with 400-plus yards and the club record is eight, established in 2009.

Dan Bailey was true on all three of his field goal tries, including a career-long tying 51-yarder. Today was the third time he hit a 51-yard field goal. The first was against St. Louis (10/23/11) and the second was against the N.Y. Giants (10/28/12).

Bailey’s three field goal conversions today gave him his 10th career game making three-plus field goals. He is now tied with Chris Boniol for the third-most games with three-or-more field goals converted in team history. Richie Cunningham (11) is second and Rafael Septien (21) has the team-high.

Dez Bryant led the team with a career-high tying 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns on eight catches. He had an 85-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter today. It was the longest catch of his career, tied for the ninth-longest play in team history and was the longest pass reception by a Cowboy since Jason Tucker had a 90-yard touchdown catch against the N.Y. Giants (1/2/00).

Bryant’s 145 yards today gave him 2,369 for his career and allowed him to pass Daryl Johnston (2,227), Preston Pearson (2,274), Raghib Ismail (2,281), Joey Galloway (2,341) and Bill Howton (2,368) for 21st in franchise history.

Bryant’s touchdown catches gave him his third straight game with a scoring reception – tying the longest streak in his career.

Bryant’s multiple touchdown reception game today was his second multi-touchdown game of the season and fourth of his career. It also gave him 21 career touchdown catches to move past Butch Johnson (19) and Terry Glenn (20) for 14th in franchise history.

Bryant’s 145-yard outing tied the second-most yards by a Cowboys receiver on Thanksgiving Day. Michael Irvin has the high (157 – vs. Pittsburgh, 11/28/91) and both Lance Rentzel (vs. St. Louis, 11/23/67) and Miles Austin (vs. Oakland, 11/26/09) were also tied for second with 145 each.

Tyrone Crawford had his first career sack (for 0 yards) today. It occurred in the second quarter.

Felix Jones finished today’s game with six rushes for 14 yards and three catches for 47 yards with a touchdown. His touchdown catch gave him a score in his third consecutive game (two receiving and one rush). It is the second-longest touchdown streak in his career behind a four-game streak in weeks 1-4 of his rookie season in 2008 (three rush and one kickoff return).

Jones caught three passes today to give him 127 for his career and break a tie with Pettis Norman and Alvin Harper (124) and tie Eric Bjornson for 35th in team history.

Jones’ 47 receiving yards today upped his career receiving yards total to 1,062 and pass Mike Ditka for 42nd in club record books.

Brian Moorman netted 52.3 yards on his three punts today. His 52.3 net was second in his career. His career-high was 53.0 at Kansas City (12/13/09).

Jermey Parnell made his first career start today. He started at left tackle in place of Tyron Smith (ankle).

Charlie Peprah intercepted his first pass as a Dallas Cowboy in the fourth quarter of today’s game. It was the eighth pick of his career.

Tony Romo finished today’s game completing 37-of-62 passes for 441 yards with three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Romo’s 62 attempts tied his club record while his 37 completions were a career-best and second in franchise history. His 441 yards were a career-high and good for third in franchise history.

Single-Game Highs

Attempts No. Player Opp (Date)
  62 Tony Romo vs. N.Y. Giants (10/28/12)
  62 Tony Romo vs. Washington (11/22/12)
  57 Troy Aikman vs. Minnesota (11/26/98)
Completions No. Player Opp (Date)
  41 Tony Romo at N.Y. Giants (12/6/09)
  37 Tony Romo vs. Washington (11/22/12)
  36 Tony Romo vs. N.Y. Giants (10/28/12)
Passing Yards No. Player Opp (Date)
  460 Don Meredith at San Francisco (11/10/69)
  455 Troy Aikman vs. Minnesota (11/26/98)
  441 Tony Romo vs. Washington (11/22/12)

Romo’s 85-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant was the longest pass completion of his career. It also tied the ninth-longest completion in franchise history and was the longest since a 90-yard Troy Aikman-to-Jason Tucker scoring hookup against the N.Y.Giants (1/2/00).

Romo’s three scoring throws today gave him 92 touchdowns in home games to pass Danny White (91) for the most home touchdowns in franchise history. Romo accomplished the feat in his 47th home appearance while White did it in 84.

Romo’s three touchdown passes today gave him 52 career multiple-touchdown games to improve his club-high and allow him to tie for fifth in the NFL since becoming a starter in 2006:

Cowboys Career Multi-TD Games

Player Games
Tony Romo 52
Roger Staubach 48
Danny White 44
Troy Aikman 43
Don Meredith 41

NFL Multi-TD Games (since 2006)

Player Games
Drew Brees 70
Tom Brady 61
Philip Rivers 61
Peyton Manning 57
Tony Romo 52
Eli Manning 51

Romo’s three touchdown tosses today gave him 165 for his career and tied him with Troy Aikman for the all-time Dallas Cowboys club record.

Romo now has 27 career games with three-or-more touchdowns, upping his club record.

Romo now has 26 career three-touchdown games – the most in Cowboys history, fourth among all-time undrafted quarterbacks and the fourth-most in the NFL since 2006:

Cowboys Career Three-TD Games

Player Games
Tony Romo 26
Danny White 20
Roger Staubach 17
Don Meredith 14
Troy Aikman 10

All-Time Three-TD Games (Undrafted Free-Agents)

Player Games
Kurt Warner 34
Dave Krieg 31
Warren Moon 27
Tony Romo 26

NFL Three-TD Games (since 2006)

Player Games
Drew Brees 42
Tom Brady 34
Peyton Manning 33
Aaron Rodgers 29
Tony Romo 26
Philip Rivers 25

Romo’s 441 passing yards today was his fifth 300-yard game of the season and the 37th of his career. Dallas now holds a 23-14 (.622) record when Romo tops 300 yards.

Romo’s 441 yards was his second 400-yard game of the season and the third of his career. Romo’s three career 400-yard games sets a club record while his two this season also establish a single-season club record.

Romo threw for 441 yards today to give him 3,357 for the season. Romo now has five 3,000-yard seasons to tie Troy Aikman for the most in team history. Danny White is third with four.

Thanksgiving Day Single-Game Highs

Attempts No. Player Opp (Date)
  62 Tony Romo vs. Washington (11/22/12)
  57 Troy Aikman vs. Minnesota (11/26/98)
  44 Drew Bledsoe vs. Denver (11/24/05)
Completions No. Player Opp (Date)
  37 Tony Romo vs. Washington (11/22/12)
  34 Troy Aikman vs. Minnesota (11/26/98)
  30 Troy Aikman vs. Minnesota (11/23/00)
  30 Jon Kitna vs. New Orleans (11/25/10)
Passing Yards No. Player Opp (Date)
  455 Troy Aikman vs. Minnesota (11/26/98)
  441 Tony Romo vs. Washington (11/22/12)
  356 Troy Aikman vs. Tennessee (11/27/97)

Romo’s 62 pass attempts today upped his Thanksgiving Day pass attempts total to 221 and pass Danny White (187) for second in team history. Troy Aikman has the high with 341.

In completing 37 passes today, Romo has completed 142 Thanksgiving Day passes to pass Danny White (112) for second in team history. Troy Aikman has the high with 211.

With 441 passing yards today, Romo has thrown for 1,808 Thanksgiving Day yards. He passed Danny White (1,545) for second in team history behind Troy Aikman’s 2,280.

Romo’s three touchdown tosses today gave him 17 for Thanksgiving. He broke a tie with Danny White for the most touchdown throws on Thanksgiving Day in Cowboys record books.

Anthony Spencer had 2.0 sacks today, his sixth career multiple sack game and second of the season.

Spencer’s 2.0 sacks today gave him three straight games with at least a half sack – the third time in his career he has had that streak. His first three-game streak came in 2009 (Weeks 15-17) and the second in 2011 (Weeks 1-3).

In finishing today’s game with 74 receiving yards, Jason Witten now has 8,619 for his career to pass Paul Warfield 8,565 and Laveranues Coles (8,609) for 64th all-time in NFL history.

Witten led the team with nine catches today to give him 82 for the season, giving him his sixth season with at least 80receptions. Witten’s six 80-catch seasons ties Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time among league tight ends. Witten’s six also tie Gonzalez and six others for the sixth-most 80-catch seasons among all pass catchers in NFL history.Jerry Rice has the NFL record with 12.

NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys

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HEAD2HEAD: A look at the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins match up

After slogging through a 23-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Cowboys return to the field Thursday to face NFC East rival Washington on Thanksgiving. The Redskins, despite their 4-6 record, are expected to challenge Dallas and the Cowboys have preparing this week to defend quarterback Robert Griffin III, the former Baylor star. Griffin III, in his rookie campaign, has lived up to the hype and now he comes home to Texas, hoping to give Washington its first victory ever at Cowboys Stadium. All eyes will be on him Thursday, including the Cowboys’. Here is a look at how both teams match up:

When the Cowboys run

As each week has passed without DeMarco Murray in the lineup, the Cowboys have become increasingly inured to making do without their starting running back. Murray has missed the last five games because of a sprained left foot and his status is in doubt Thursday. In his absence Dallas has averaged 2.97 yards per carry. If Murray can’t play, don’t expect the results to get any better this week. Backup Felix Jones is also banged up and despite the fact that Washington’s defensive front has been decimated by injuries, the Redskins are allowing 94.6 rushing yards per game – the seventh-lowest average in the NFL.

Edge: Redskins

When the Cowboys pass

Considering that he was operating behind a ramshackle offensive line, quarterback Tony Romo fared especially well last Sunday. Sacked seven times, he still passed for 313 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.  Romo’s solid outing was made possible, in part by Dez Bryant, who enjoyed his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. But if the pass protection doesn’t improve, it’s uncertain if Romo can sustain this level of performance even against a Redskins defense allowing 289.2 passing yards per game – the fourth-worst average in the NFL.

Edge: Cowboys

When the Redskins run

Two rookies have given a once-flagging Redskins rushing attack some bite. Acclaimed quarterback Robert Griffin III and unheralded tailback Alfred Morris have transformed a ground game that was among the least productive last season but is now one of the best. The Redskins are gaining 165 yards rushing yards per game, the second-highest average in the NFL. Dallas, at times, has shown susceptibility while defending the run and is conceding 106.6 yards per game.

Edge: Redskins

When the Redskins pass

This off-season Washington tried to beef up its passing offense with the major acquisitions of Robert Griffin III and free-agent receivers Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon. But the Redskins have gained only 214.7 yards per game through the air – the 11th-lowest average in the NFL. But while the Redskins’ passing attack may not be prolific it is efficient. Griffin III has thrown only three interceptions versus 12 touchdown passes. He will be tested this week while facing a Cowboys pass defense that is allowing 211.4 yards per game – the sixth-best average in the NFL.

Edge: Cowboys

Special teams

As Dwayne Harris continues to make an impact on punt returns and Dan Bailey converts field goals, the Cowboys’ special teams are no longer viewed as the same bumbling group of units that gave away the ball multiple times, conceded a blocked punt and allowed a 108-yard kickoff return earlier this season. In fact, they have been quite solid. Bailey has converted 90.5 percent of his field goal attempts. Meanwhile, the Redskins’ kicker Kai Forbath, an ex-Cowboy, has made all nine of his attempts since replacing the struggling Billy Cundiff in October. Forbath has bolstered a special teams unit that hasn’t received much production out of returner Brandon Banks this season.

Edge: Cowboys

Intangibles

There is little doubt Redskins quarterback and former Baylor star Robert Griffin III will be motivated. He returns to Texas to play his first game as a pro in his home state and all eyes will be on him. With the pressure ratcheted up a bit, will he thrive or crater? Dallas will play a part in answering that question. The Cowboys are 28-15-1 on Thanksgiving, having defeated the Redskins each of the six times they have played them on the holiday. Griffin III and Washington, which has also never won inside Cowboys Stadium, will defy history if they win Thursday.

Edge: Cowboys

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

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GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Sounds of the game

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GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys postgame coverage

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