Thanksgiving has always been one of my all-time favorite holidays. You get together with your family, have a big meal, and there is no pressure of gift giving. As long as you helped cook something or washed a dish or two everyone is happy with you.
Usually my Thanksgivings are calm affairs. That is unless the Redskins are playing the Dallas Cowboys. As any red-blooded Redskin fan I get overly excited when we play the Cowboys, especially when it's on national television. Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys have never been our strong point though, we entered last Thursday with an 0-6 record against the Boys on their annual Turkey Day game. Also, to stack the deck against us Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo had never lost on Thanksgiving, or in the month of November (as much as I hate Romo, that's a pretty daunting stat given how long he's been playing).
Also, the Skins have had some pretty heartbreaking losses in Dallas on this special day. The George Allen led Skins went down to Dallas in 1976 and put a first half whooping on the Cowboys and even knocked Rodger Stabauch out of the game only to watch the unknown Clint Longley pick them apart. Or in 2002 when the Skins seem to have the game wrapped up and were running out the clock when the reliable Stephen Davis fumbled allowing the Boys to drive down the field and tie the game, which they would later win.
However, when this game started I felt different about the game. We had Robert Griffin III damn it and he wasn't going to lose in his first game. Of course then the team took the field and we went three and out and looked really bad doing it. Then Tony Romo and the Boys marched down field and put of three quick points.
Sure we were only down three points but it was the way that it happened that made feel ill. We looked bad on both ends of the ball to open up the game and the Cowboys had all the momentum and Jerry World was going insane. However, once the second quarter began all of that changed.
The Skins erupted for four touchdows in the quarter with Griffin going 8-8 with 178 yards and three TD passes in those 15 minutes. Aldrick Robinson, Pierre Garcon, and Santana Moss all caught TD passes from Griffin in the quarter with Morris continuing his fantastic rookies season by adding one on the ground.
By halftime the route was on but I still felt an unease about the second half. I could help shake the feeling we've been here before when it came to Thanksgiving Day games and I knew the second half wasn't going to be as easy.
I don't know if it were halftime adjustment by the Cowboys or if it was just us being cursed on Turkey Day but it looked like the Cowboys were once again going to make an unlikely comeback against us. Bitting my nails I felt helpless as the Boys put up touchdown after touchdown. Even when the defense made a play, like London Fletcher's interception we couldn't stifle Tony Romo's momentum.
The Cowboys down by 10 did the smart thing and kicked a long field goal on 4th and 10 and lined up for the onside kick. My mind flashed to earlier in the season when the Cowboys made a similar comeback on the Baltimore Ravens. They were successful in their onside recovery and nearly upset the Ravens except for the fact they poorly handled the clock and missed a 51 yard field goal. The way this game was going if the Boys got the onside they were going to get their touchdown.
In spite of a lot of flack he gets from the fans, DeAngelo Hall seems to come through a lot for the team when the game is on the line (especially against the Cowboys). Hall scooped up the onside kick and was off to the races. Everyone thought he would me the typical "MeAngelo Hall" and take it in for the score but no, Hall surprised all of us by going down at the two allowing Griffin to come back out on the field and take the victorious kneel down.
We all breathed a sigh of relief as we finally beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and took over second place in the NFC East and drastically improved our playoff contention.
Next up is the division leading New York Giants who are two games up on us for the NFC East title. A win on Monday Night gets us back to .500 and puts us somewhat in the driver's seat of our destiny. It would also ensure us of at least a 3-3 record in the division, something we haven't done much of in the last 20 years.
Things looked bleak three weeks ago, but as I said after the Eagles game something special was happening with this team. The responded well after the bye week and came out and put a hurting on two divisional foes. To paraphrase Sports Illustrated's Peter King, no one wants to play Robert Griffin III and the Redskins right now. I'm pretty sure that is a very accurate statement.
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