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Washington Redskins' win thrusts them in playoff race

The NFL is a copycat league. Perhaps other coaches will start to say they're "evaluating" for next season, like Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan did two weeks ago

After all, the Redskins suddenly are right back in the NFC East race.

Since Shanahan uttered those words, the New York Giants have lost two consecutive games. And the Redskins have won two in a row after their 38-31 victory in Dallas on Thursday.

Robert Griffin III became the first rookie in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes in back-to-back weeks. Aside from one errant interception, Griffin's trademark accuracy was on display in a 20-of-28, 311-yard passing performance. There was the requisite wide-open, beautiful bomb to Aldrick Robinson, but there also were many pinpoint throws into tight windows.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was in "awe" of RG3, according to's Ian Rapoport.

"There's a reason they traded half their team for him," Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said.

Alfred Morris rushed for over 100 yards, and Pierre Garcon finally looked fully healthy on a 59-yard TD catch. The Redskins' defense still gives up big plays, but this is a team with a more clearly definable strength than the Cowboys. It is very, very difficult to stop the Redskins' offense.

The Cowboys rallied from a 28-3 hole to make it a one-score game with eight minutes left. This is where big-time offenses step up. And Griffin led a clock-killing field goal drive that put the game away.

The Redskins are 2-1 in the division and host the Giants next week. If the Giants lose to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, the Redskins will have a chance to nab a share of first place in the NFC East.

Forget about next season. We're talking about next week.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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