Robert Griffin III Set for Big Game vs. Cowboys
After leading the Washington Redskins over an underrated Oakland Raiders defense, Robert Griffin III is set for a big game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington on Sunday.
Griffin's basic stats against the Raiders in the Redskins' 24-14 victory in Week 4 aren't much to look at: 18-of-31, 227 yards, one touchdown.
But look a little deeper at Griffin's performance in Oakland, and there's reason to expect the 23-year-old to light up the scoreboard in Texas.
As pointed out by John Keim of ESPN.com, Griffin has struggled when facing 3rd-and-5 (or more) this season. He's converted 7 of 31 third-down attempts from this distance.
But, as Keim also noted, Griffin went 3-of-6 on third downs in the second half against Oakland. That included a 32-yard completion to tight end Logan Paulsen and a 17-yard completion to receiver Leonard Hankerson.
The fact that Griffin is coming off a torn ACL has undoubtedly affected his impact running the pigskin so far this season, but he's also been challenged to throw. Teams are taking away the run and forcing Griffin to air it out.
So far, Griffin hasn't done a very good job at making teams pay through the air, but he showed progress against the Raiders at critical times. His completion to Hankerson came on a 3rd-and-9.
The Redskins eventually scored on that drive to take a 17-14 lead.
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Beyond that, the Cowboys defense is coming off a dreadful performance against the Denver Broncos at home, surrendering 48 points while allowing Peyton Manning to go 33-of-42 for 414 yards with four touchdowns to one interception.
In fact, the Cowboys rank 25th in the NFL this season in yards allowed per pass attempt, 29th in opponents' completion percentage and dead last in passing touchdowns ceded (14).
In that regard, it may actually be a bad idea for the Cowboys to test Griffin's arm on Sunday. Tony Romo will likely find himself in another shootout at AT&T Stadium.
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