Ashburn, Va. • Robert Griffin III felt it was time for the Washington Redskins to dominate an opponent, so that's what he told his teammates.
Sure enough, they went out and beat the Philadelphia Eagles by 25 points, the Redskins' largest margin of victory in more than five years.
"There were a few things that I think I needed to say," Griffin said Tuesday. "And it wasn't because they voted me captain, it was just there's things as a quarterback you have to say to your team. And I just tried and echoed those throughout the locker room and we went out and dominated."
He's not changing the message for Thursday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"It's the same message," Griffin said Tuesday. "I haven't seen this team play as physical as they did this past Sunday, both offense and defense. It wasn't perfect by any means, but there was a certain tenacity, a certain attitude that was brought to the game, and you could feel it."
If the Redskins (4-6) are truly serious about making a playoff push, they can't rest after a runaway victory over an Eagles team in disarray. They need to put together a streak, and a victory over the Cowboys (5-5) followed by another against the New York Giants (6-4) would get Washington to .500 and truly make the team a legitimate contender for the NFC East title.
And it has to be worked around a tight schedule. While it's a thrill to be a part of the NFL's Thanksgiving tradition, it's a busy week for everyone involved.
Griffin is returning home to Texas for the game, and he had plenty to say about his family. The underside of the tongues of his shoes were camouflaged for Sunday's game, and the names of his parents who both served in the military were inscribed on the tops. He spoke again about how his father is one of his worst critics and was asked how important it is to make his father proud.
"It's paramount to me," Griffin said. "It's really important. … There are some games like the last one where you go 14 of 15 and he's chewing you out, and you're like, 'C'mon, Dad.' "
Robert Griffin Jr.'s criticisms centered on whether his son sufficiently protected himself from big hits against the Eagles. The quarterback did take a few shots, but he said he felt fine and was physically ready for the quick turnaround.
"You can tell the young guys right away," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "They've got a little hop in their step. When you're 22 years old compared to a little bit older, I think the body recovers a lot quicker."