The Washington Redskins chose to take it easy on Robert Griffin’s injured knee last week, scratching most of the running out of the playbook for the rookie quarterback.
And now they know he can win that way, too.
Griffin ran only two times for 4 yards but still put up a 102.4 passer rating, completing 16 of 24 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and an interception (that went off the receiver’s hands) in a win last week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It gives the team confidence that Griffin, even if he is slowed down a bit, still can be a weapon against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
"We did not do everything that we would normally do," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told Washington reporters. "I didn’t want to put that pressure on that LCL."
The ligament strain caused Griffin to miss a game two weeks ago against the Cleveland Browns. He came back last week with a bulky knee brace that hampered him.
"My mobility was down a little bit just because of the brace, but at the same time, I was still able to do everything a quarterback is supposed to do," Griffin said. "It didn’t necessarily slow me down by any means, and I was able to protect myself out there."
Tight end Chris Cooley has played the Cowboys 13 times, so he appreciates the rivalry.
"This game is going to be unbelievable," he said. "This is what should be one of the best rivalries in all of football, one of the top two or three games in all of football … but it hasn’t been Redskins-Cowboys where we both have great teams."
The Redskins’ six-game winning streak included a stretch of three games decided by one score, and four in all. But that’s good, Mike Shanahan said.
"You’ve got to get used to winning those tight games," he said. "I think that’s where our football team is right now. They expect to win."
The Redskins escaped Cowboys Stadium with a one-score margin, winning 38-31. They also beat the New York Giants 17-16, the Baltimore Ravens 31-28 and the Eagles 27-20.
Right tackle Tyler Polumbus did not play last week because of a concussion. The Redskins are optimistic he can play on Sunday.
Safety DeJon Gomes sprained a knee against Philadelphia. The Redskins were waiting to see how the knee responded today.
Center Will Montgomery played with a sprained knee against the Eagles, and defensive end Stephen Bowen suffered a torn biceps, but both are expected to play Sunday.
Ryan Kerrigan had two sacks and a forced fumble last week, giving him the team lead in sacks with 8.5.
Kai Forbath, who spent time on injured reserve with the Cowboys last year, has made 17 field goals to start his career, an NFL record.
Rookie Alfred Morris (1,413 yards) needs 105 yards to break Clinton Portis’ single-season club rushing record.
The Redskins haven’t won the NFC East since 1999.