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Instant analysis Redskins 38, Cowboys 31

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Instant analysis Redskins 38, Cowboys 31

ARLINGTON, TX -– Earlier this month, the Redskins entered their bye week mired in an unsightly three-game losing streak and seemingly on the verge of coming apart at the seams.

Now they’re tied for second place in the division.

Welcome to the NFC East, 2012 edition.

Robert Griffin III tossed four touchdowns and the maligned defense forced three turnovers to lift the Redskins to a 38-31 victory over Tony Romo and the reeling Cowboys. It was the Redskins’ first victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in seven tries.

Washington improved to 5-6, while Dallas sunk to the same mark.

Griffin finished 20 of 28 passing for 311 yards and one interception, just a week after the standout rookie tossed four touchdowns in a 31-6 rout of the hapless Eagles.

In their first national television appearance of the season, Griffin and his teammates did most of the damage in the second quarter, completing touchdowns to wide receivers Aldrick Robinson, Pierre Garçon and Santana Moss. Running back Alfred Morris also scored in the period as the Redskins seized a 28-3 that the Cowboys would later challenge in a wild second half.

The 28 points were the most the Redskins scored in a quarter since the 1999 season.

Also in the second quarter, cornerback Josh Wilson forced a fumble and DeAngelo Hall intercepted Romo. Hall’s pick was his fourth of the season.

Much has been made of the Redskins’ propensity for allowing big plays. Now, they’re becoming known for producing them as well.

In the past two games, Griffin III and Co. has produced touchdowns of 68, 61, 59 and 51 yards – all on passes. This afternoon, Robinson’s touchdown was from 68 yards out; Garçon’s was 59.

It wasn’t known whether Garçon would even suit up for the game because he was concerned his tender right foot couldn’t withstand the pounding on the artificial surface here. But he deciding to play – and made his most significant impact since the season opener.

Garçon finished with five receptions for 93 yards, including a spectacular grab on his touchdown. He spun around to grab a pass that was thrown behind him, then outraced Danny McCray and Mike Jenkins to the end zone.

The touchdown that will have everyone talking, however, was the catch Moss made with five seconds remaining in the half. The veteran spun around, snagged a perfectly-placed back shoulder throw and tapped both feet as he fell out of the end zone. After a review, the score stood and the capacity crowd at Cowboys Stadium fell silent.

While Moss’ touchdown should have sealed the victory, it didn’t.

Romo and the Cowboys scored three times in the second half – on pass plays of 85-yards and 11 yards to Bryant and a 10-yard completion to Felix Jones.

Bryant’s second touchdown – scored with 8:18 remaining – cut the Redskins’ once insurmountable-looking lead to 35-28.

Kai Forbath, however, connected from 48 yards out with 2:58 to put the Redskins ahead 38-28. The first-year kicker is now 10 for 10 this season, seven of which have come from 40 or more yards.

Dallas got another field goal with 18 seconds remaining, but Hall prevented them from recovering the ensuing onside kick.

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

Kirk Cousins got mic'd up during the Redskins win over the 49ers last Sunday, and well, it confirmed a few things Washington fans already knew about their quarterback. 

For starters, Cousins is a nice guy. A real nice guy.

On one play, Cousins completes a pass downfield while facing a bit of pressure. As soon as he throws the ball, he starts shouting to his offensive line, "Good pocket! Great pocket!"

He keeps going, "Hey that was you guys. I took forever, I took forever. Hey nice job."

NFL quarterbacks like to thank their offensive lines, but not always immediately, even while the play is going on. Kirk is a nice guy.

Some other things learned from the mic'd up session:

  • Josh Doctson has a nickname. It's "Papa Doc." No idea if that's an 8 Mile reference. 
  • Trent Williams believes Kirk Cousins' shoulder is worth $200 million. And he might be right. 
  • Kirk Cousins wants to stay aggresive. He laid it out to QB coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins explained during the Redskins early lead:

"Sometimes I get in a weird place, you get a lead like this. Where you start playing conservative, not to lose. It’s smart to do that but it also kinda hinders your ability to just go play."

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Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

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Associated Press

Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

The Redskins’ defense may not be as banged up as we thought it was.

On Thursday, the first day of serious preparation for their Monday night game in Philadelphia, injured defenders CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), and S Deshazor Everett (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis.

Norman was inactive against the 49ers after suffering a broken rib against the Chiefs on October 2. Breeland injured his knee against San Francisco. They are the starters, and if they both can play against the 5-1 Eagles it would be a huge boost to the defense.

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

It should be noted that both cornerbacks only took part in individual drills, so it is no sure thing that either will be ready to play in Philadelphia. But having them at practice was a good start.

Everett is a reserve safety and a key special teams contributor. His presence in the latter area could be important as the Eagles’ performance on special teams is among the best in the league.

LB Ryan Anderson (back) and S Stefan McClure (knee) both practiced on a limited basis.

Also practicing was S DeAngelo Hall. He has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in 2016. The team now has a 21-day window during which they can activate him. However, he must sit out at least one more game.

On offense, Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. That is not ideal but he was able to play last Sunday after being out of practice all last week.

RELATED: IN A MUDDLED NFC WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

Jay Gruden announced roster moves that had been reported previously, with K Dustin Hopkins (hip) and DE Jonathan Allen (foot) going on injured reserve. First-year player Nick Rose will handle the place kicking duties and A.J. Francis will take Allen’s roster spot.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.