The large disproportion between Thanksgiving 2012 in Dallas and 2016? Kirk Cousins.

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So they accommodate again. The Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

Four years have upheld given a many new such date between a rivals. Thanksgiving Day 2012 seemed to paint a full-on introduction of Robert Griffin III who, after regulating his legs to obscure opponents for a initial half of his rookie season, seemed to freshness fully. He finished 19 of 27 passes for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns , and the Redskins kick a horde Cowboys, 38-31 .

That feat helped jump-start Washington, that sealed out a year on a seven-game win strain to constraint a initial multiplication pretension in 13 years. It looked like a start of a energetic era.

But things started to pulp reduction than dual months after when Griffin’s surgically remade knee gave out on him in a initial turn of a playoffs opposite Seattle, requiring another surgery. His attribute with then-coach Mike Shanahan disintegrated. Following a miserable 3-13 campaign, owners Daniel Snyder and then-general manager Bruce Allen motionless to blow a whole thing up.

Gone are Griffin and a Shanahans (Mike and his son, descent coordinator Kyle). So is using behind Alfred Morris, another pivotal cause in that playoff run. H serves as a backup for a Cowboys.

Robert Griffin III threw 4 first-half touchdown passes in a 38-21 feat on Thanksgiving Day 2012 in Arlington, Texas. But few Redskins from afterwards are pivotal players now, and usually Ryan Kerrigan and Pierre Garcon are approaching to start both games. (Jose Yau/The Waco Tribune-Herald, around AP)

Only 5 players on Thursday’s game-day register (Chris Baker, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan, Pierre Garcon and Nick Sundberg) sojourn from that 2012 Thanksgiving Day Redskins team. Left tackle Trent Williams is suspended, and 3 others — Kedric Golston, DeAngelo Hall and Kory Lichtensteiger — are on harmed reserve.

“It’s kind of crazy to consider about that,” pronounced Kerrigan, an outward linebacker and one of usually dual delayed starters from that Thanksgiving Day lineup, a other being Garcon.

“Obviously,” Kerrigan continued, “a lot has left on here given afterwards — some good and some bad. But it’s kind of crazy to consider that we’re behind in a identical mark and both a Cowboys and us are pulling for tops in a division, and there’s a lot roving on this diversion usually like it was 4 years ago.”

Both Dallas and Washington hovered around .500 on Thanksgiving 2012. This year Dallas (9-1) owns a best record in a joining and hasn’t mislaid given Week 1. Washington (6-3-1) has won 6 of a past eight.

The Cowboys, then, are a hunted. And instead of long-shots wanting a enchanting run to strech a postseason, a Redskins would be an NFC wild-card group if a deteriorate finished today.

Yet a Redskins sojourn in hunt of long-term fortitude during quarterback, with Griffin’s former backup perplexing to fill that need. After usurping Griffin final year and heading Washington on another extraordinary query to a multiplication title, Cousins perceived a large — though short-term — compensate day, a one-year, $19.95 million authorization tag.

“You never unequivocally know what’s going to happen,” Cousins said, reflecting on his drastically opposite station this time around. “That’s since we don’t ever demeanour too distant brazen over a subsequent diversion since we don’t know. Four years from now, who knows where we’re going to be? You’re usually going to rubbish appetite perplexing to consider too distant forward. You usually concentration on a subsequent game.”

More than median by his prove-it campaign, Cousins is gaining momentum. In his past 3 games, Cousins has averaged 365 flitting yards and a 68.8 execution commission while throwing 7 touchdown passes and usually one interception.

Sunday’s 42-24 win over a Packers represented Cousins’s many energetic tour with 3 touchdown passes, no interceptions and a season-best 145.8 passer rating.

“He’s unequivocally stepping adult and final diversion he unequivocally showed us that he wants to be that guy, and that he can be that guy,” Redskins linebacker Su’a Cravens said. “With a opening like that, we don’t know how anybody can contend he can’t be.”

Intoxicated by a emotions of Sunday night’s large victory, Cousins greeted General Manager Scot McCloughan as he came off a field, seeking “How do we like me now?”

The quarterback after pronounced that he understands he’s underneath unchanging evaluation, and that he meant no disrespect.

But in reality, Redskins officials ask themselves that same doubt daily. Although Cousins put adult yardage numbers in a initial half of a season, his coaches and their higher-ups wanted to see some-more charge — and many of all, some-more points.

He displayed a good authority of a offense though played it protected during times. Washington’s offense lacked a unchanging deep-ball component and ranked among a misfortune in a joining in a red zone.

“He started out a small bit slow,” Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon pronounced in an talk this week. “I don’t know if it was a weight of a numbers he was being paid was removing to him and he was dire a small bit, or what. But a final 3 weeks . . . he’s personification unequivocally good football right now during a right time. You’re usually anticipating he continues, and I’m certain a Redskins are looking for that before they start articulate long-term extensions. We’ll see if he continues this by a finish of a year and leads them to a playoffs. I’m certain that’ll have a lot to do with it.”

Cousins’s new prohibited strain began during a mid indicate of a season, and his ceiling trend seems to resemble a settlement he displayed final year. After a medium start, he held glow in a second half of a season, throwing 19 touchdown passes and usually dual interceptions while heading a Redskins on a 7-3 finish.

Cousins has pronounced there’s no unwavering switch he flipped, though with time, comfort and continued work, his confidence, approval and execution have improved.

“I consider it’s been a multiple of factors,” Cousins said. “I don’t consider it’s been one thing or even dual things. We’ve got to have a good diversion plan. Sean McVay has to not usually pattern a plays, though he’s got to call them during a right time. Then we have to govern them. We have to chuck with accuracy, make a catches and protect. . . . It’s usually so many factors that have to go together.”

Coaches do, however, see expansion in Cousins’s game. The boost in prolongation — over a past 3 games, Cousins is adult to 9.2 yards per try from 7.5, and a offense is scoring 31.6 points per diversion instead of 22.7 — hasn’t come by chance.

Cousins has been doing some-more of a small things that supplement up.

“You can see it. It’s ‘Eye in a sky don’t lie,’ so to speak,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s going by progressions, he’s unresolved in there. He had a integrate plays in that [Green Bay] diversion that unequivocally — a initial touchdown to DeSean Jackson, that was his fourth progression. He hung in there and threw a good pass to DeSean. The check-down to Chris Thompson on third down — that he had to hasten out of a pocket, buy time, Clay Matthews came on a stunt, was unblocked — he done him skip and got dual hands on a round and threw a good pass to Chris Thompson for a large initial down. Those plays are unequivocally difference-makers as distant as a game’s concerned.

“The some-more gentle he gets, and a people around him, and a complement — a improved he’s going to be. We like where he is, we like where he’s going, [and] he’s going to continue to work, that is also since we like him,” Gruden said.

Such play, and victories, will go a prolonged approach toward environment adult a Redskins nicely, while also responding any remaining questions Redskins officials could have about Cousins.

A win on Thursday would be a challenge, given Washington’s brief turnaround and Dallas’s momentum.

“I’d like to see him down a stretch. That’s unequivocally when we see a quarterback during his best,” Moon said. “He’s got some local games entrance up, starting with a Cowboys on Thursday. That’s where we can set yourself adult in a division, since we don’t wish to give a Cowboys any some-more space. . . . This could unequivocally lift them behind into a multiplication competition if [the Redskins] could win this game, and he’s going to have to play large for them to do that. I’d contend over a march of a subsequent 3 or 4 weeks, he’s possibly going to play himself into a long-term, large deal, or there’s still going to be some questions.”

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