Griffin's surgically repaired knee had noticeably more juice than the last time he took the field, allowing him to rush for more yards (77) than the previous four games combined.
That improved speed and quickness did nothing for his arm, however.
The owner of a tight spiral most weeks, Griffin unleashed errant, wobbly passes throughout the game. He missed too many throws while failing to complete 50 percent of his passes for just the second time in 21 career games.
We see signs of progress each week, but the quarterback has yet to put it all together. This offense has still managed just one touchdown in the first half all season.
Until Griffin starts to channel his 2012 form, the surrounding talent isn't good enough to keep the team afloat. If the turnaround doesn't happen soon, Redskins fans might start to wonder how long of a leash the Shanahans have with owner Daniel Snyder.
Here's what else we learned from Sunday night's game:
1. Despite the early-game loss of DeMarcus Ware to a quadriceps strain, the Cowboys showed major improvement over the previous two weeks. Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher added two sacks to his Pro Bowl-caliber start and George Selvie continues to exceed expectations as a fill-in defensive end. Middle linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Brandon Carr also had excellent games.
2. Tony Romo passed for 506 yards and five touchdowns in Week 5 -- and lost. He threw for just 170 yards and one touchdown Sunday night -- and won. The lesson, as always, is that it's overly simplistic to credit or blame the quarterback for the game's outcome. Romo played at a much higher level in the loss than the win.
3. The Cowboys couldn't run the ball once DeMarco Murray left with an MCL sprain. At one point in the fourth quarter, they had just five yards on five carries since Murray's first-quarter exit. Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner combined for just 19 yards on 12 carries, good for 1.58 yards per attempt.
4. Dwayne Harris is about to win his second Special Teams Player of the Week award after racking up 222 yards and one touchdown on four combined returns. He also made plays in kick coverage. It was the kind of game-changing performance in a nationally televised game that will get the attention of Pro Bowl voters.
5. NBC's Michele Tafoya reported during the game that nose tackle Jay Ratliff -- on the physically unable to perform list with a groin injury -- has likely played his last game with the Cowboys. Ratliff has had off-field issues, argued with owner Jerry Jones and accused management of mishandling his injuries. It would be no surprise if the Cowboys decide he's no longer worth the effort now that Hatcher is flourishing as the three-technique tackle.
7. While Fred Davis has all but disappeared at tight end, rookie Jordan Reed continues to impress for the Redskins. He moves fluidly and is as dangerous after the catch as any Redskins wide receiver save Pierre Garcon.