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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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Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Nose tackle

Finlay: There's a lot to do on the Redskins defensive line, and it starts in the middle. Expect free agent addition Stacy McGee to have a big opportunity to take over the nose tackle job. McGee ranked as a +5.5 run defender last season as rated by Pro Football Focus, and at 6-foot-3 and 308 lbs., he has the size to man the middle. McGee has plenty of talent, health has been his hiccup. He has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons, and in 2016, he played only nine games.

Beyond McGee, the Redskins have some lottery tickets. Practice squad players A.J. Francis and Joey Mbu both have the size to play nose, but neither have the experience. Could Francis or Mbu emerge for significant snaps with the Washington defense? Sure, but it would be unexpected. 

A bigger lottery ticket remains. Phil Taylor, a former first-round pick in 2012, has shown serious talent at the nose tackle position. At 6-foot-3 and 337 lbs., Taylor certainly has the size for the spot. At the same time, Taylor hasn't played an NFL game since 2014, losing both 2015 and 2016 to injury. Counting on Taylor would be short-sighted, but if he can remain healthy, there could be big value.

According to Jay Gruden, the most important piece of the nose tackle puzzle will come from new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Gruden said he expects Tomsula to "make" a nose tackle and improve the Redskins D-line. It's a tall order, but Tomsula has an impressive track record working in the trenches. 

Tandler:

 

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins will be adding as many as three new positions to their front office, team president Bruce Allen said on Monday.

Speaking with the media at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation, Allen explained that he has spoken with 12 people from outside the organization about possible jobs.

Many wondered if the Redskins would make a hire after the early March firing of former general manager Scot McCloughan.

Reports showed that Allen wanted to promote a new GM from within, and that could still be the case. Doug Williams, Scott Campbell and Eric Schaefer are considered the internal leaders for the vacant position.

MORE REDSKINS: Who will stand out this season and who will disappoint?

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back