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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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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 31-53

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Various sources

Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 31-53

At NBCSportsWashington.com, we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) right after minicamp.

Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2018 Redskins.

No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings between now and the start of training camp. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-31>>

Today we’re starting up the list with the players we ranked from 31-53, Here are some of the players in our latest update:

— Seven of the team’s draft picks, including the pick they made last week.     

— All three specialists.

— The team’s leading rusher from 2017.   

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-31>> 

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

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USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a week late last season for the Redskins where most informed people considered Kevin O'Connell on his way out. The talented young quarterbacks coach was being pursued by Chip Kelly to be offensive coordinator at UCLA, and the smart money suggested O'Connell would take the job. 

Except he didn't. 

O'Connell decided to stay with the Redskins and continue to work on Jay Gruden's staff. In turn, Washington promoted O'Connell to passing game coordinator, a new title that likely means much more involvement in game-planning. 

Working for Gruden comes with some perks. Sean McVay ran the offense for Gruden for a few seasons and landed a prime head coaching job with the Rams. McVay has plenty of his own talent, but throughout the NFL, Gruden's offense is widely respected. 

How will O'Connell's influence shape things this fall?

Consider that he deserves some credit for Kirk Cousins improved play out of the pocket in 2017. Now combine a coach that schemes plays for QBs on the move with new Washington passer Alex Smith, a strong runner and serious athlete, and this offense could look much more mobile in 2018. 

Gruden still has the final call on gameday, but O'Connell's voice will matter this year, more so than before. Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh retain their roles and prominence in the offensive game-planning, for sure, but as Washington imports more run-pass option plays and QB movement, know that O'Connell is playing his part. 

Things will look different with Alex Smith running the Redskins offense than they did with Kirk Cousins at the helm. 

Just remember, O'Connell didn't turn down a job in Hollywood for no reason. 

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