Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Robert Griffin III Injury Could Have Huge Impact on Dallas Cowboys

Usually, when people say "this changes everything"", it rarely does. And it's quite possible that 8 months from now if/when anyone looks back at this article, I too will fall victim to such sentiment. But alas, I'm going for it: This changes everything.

As I am sure many of you have heard either last night or this morning, Robert Griffin III is believed to have suffered a torn LCL and ACL in the playoff game against Seattle. There has been some discrepancy in the reporting due to the inconclusiveness of the X-ray, but the fact remains: RG3 is truly injured (on a side note, maybe this will force Washington into having a real football field in DC instead of the reincarnation of the Everglades).

Of course, this would be bigger news if it were September or October. But instead it is January, and there are no football games left to play for the Washington Redskins until at earliest September. That leaves about 8 full months. We'll have no idea if he can play until at earliest July or August. But until then, this changes everything.

No matter what optimism you had about Dallas going into 2013, it was of course tempered due to the white elephant lining up for the Redskins. RG3 was the most electric rookie player we've seen in a long time, making plays every week that seemed as if they shouldn't be possible. He had already beaten Dallas twice, something no Redskins team had done in a single season for almost 20 years. Griffin is the reason Dallas didn't make the playoffs this season, and fans had already resigned the next 10 years to his rule.

But this injury makes you say not so fast. Maybe he won't be able to dominate as we had already assumed he would. This is the 2nd tear of his ACL in that knee. Even after reconstructive surgery it'll probably look like 4 jelly beans and some twizzlers inside that poor knee. Will he be able to regain the explosiveness that has made him so indefensable? Even if he does, will he be able to survive an entire NFL season?

In all honesty, we wish the best for the kid. We hope that he gets back on the field as soon as he can and we hope he can still be the player everyone thinks he can be. But, being human, it's hard not to crack a little smile thinking about not having to face him twice at his peak next year. Or the year after that. Or the next year. Or maybe even ever? Now we're getting greedy.

People will try to compare this situation to Mike Vick when he was down in Atlanta. Yet, aside from the type of player he is, the comparisons should stop there. Griffin clearly has a much better head on his shoulders and legitimately seems like a great kid, not the thug that Vick was. He's already a better pocket passer than Vick currently is, so that should also be able to allow him to succeed even if his running ability is tempered. But it was that running ability that made him into the scariest player to enter this division since we can remember.

Without the running ability, Griffin is still a legit NFL QB. The Redskins, with or without him, are still a team on the rise with a stout defense and a top running game. But without that running ability, us Cowboys fans sure feel a heluva lot more confident. So, like we said earlier: This changes everything.

Dan Benton

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