The last time that the Washington Redskins swept the Dallas Cowboys in a season series was the magical 2012 season, behind the electric playmaking ability of Robert Griffin III and the workhorse performance by Alfred Morris.
How long ago that seems now. Since then, the Redskins are just 2-7 against their division archrival.
On Sunday, the Redskins ensured no better than a 2017 series split, losing at home to the Cowboys by two touchdowns. In the waning moments of the fourth quarter, when quarterback Kirk Cousins had a chance to bring his team back, he got an unexpected bit of support from the Twitterverse:
This is the emotional equivalent of texting an ex-partner at a time when you’re busy with something or someone else. On the surface, it sounds supportive. But when you think back on all the history you’ve had together, it’s hard to wonder what else is lurking beneath the pleasantries.
Sure enough, Griffin III wouldn’t get to the point until hours later:
In the immortal words of Tina Turner, what’s love got to do with it? For one miraculous, highly improbable season, the love was mutual between RG3 and D.C. The success was instantaneous, the promise of his price tag was delivered, and it looked like it would last forever.
But then…well, everything else happened. There’s no sense rehashing it all now, right? Even if Cousins did throw that pick-six to end the game, he’s been good to us. There is no locker room drama, there are no crazy pregame reports and we’ve got a bright future together. Why reach out now, after all these years?
Griffin III launched into a tweetstorm about quarterback-coach relationships that sounded like self-reflection. Really, it was a way of starting a conversation, which is a classic strategy for late-night texting an ex:
In other words, when Jay Gruden inherited Griffin III and didn’t believe in him, he needed to move on to Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy. Without naming names, Griffin III explained why things didn’t work out under Gruden any better than his final years under Mike Shanahan:
Griffin then began waxing philosophically again, making thinly veiled references to the manner in which Gruden defended Cousins’ performance after Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys:
The irony here is that rumors have swirled for nearly five years that Griffin III didn’t have his coaches’ backs behind closed doors, reportedly convincing ownership to get the Shanahans fired.
But never mind details like that.
Griffin III shared a few more broad thoughts before bringing it back to himself (***Subtweet Alert***):
That might be the feeling that Griffin III got from Gruden’s introductory press conference, but it isn’t actually what his coach said. Gruden’s comments specifically about Griffin III were about as positive as you could expect for the starting quarterback on a team that finished 3-13 the year before.
It’s worth noting that Gruden said in his press conference that he had not yet spoken to Griffin: “I have not talked to Robert. I look forward to it, though.”
Here are Gruden’s other quotes:
- “Robert’s a great quarterback and it’s very exciting, Anytime you want to move forward with a franchise that’s a very important position, as we well know. He’s a great player and I look forward to the chance of coaching him.”
- “I see a ton of talent. I see a guy that can run, I see a guy that can maneuver in the pocket, I see accuracy, I see long ball accuracy, I see toughness, I see a guy that wants to win and I see a strong leader. I see every trait that a quarterback has to have to be successful. I see Robert having all of those, so why wouldn’t you want to coach a guy like that? So I’m excited to coach him and hopefully, he’s excited to play here.”
- “I’m going to let him know that I’m a trustworthy guy. He’s also got to understand that I expect a lot from the starting quarterback. I expect him to come in and prepare and work hard and I expect him to take the blame on some throws. I expect him to be a great leader. I expect him to do extra things to be great. As long as he’s working his butt off, I will provide him with everything he needs to be successful and I will give him every avenue – if he doesn’t like a play, I’m not going to call the play. I want to make sure that he’s going to be comfortable with everything we’re doing so he goes out on game day and he can succeed.”
At no point did Gruden say he wasn’t sure about Griffin. That just didn’t happen. But Griffin III is thankful for that false memory anyway:
And he offered this positive sentiment to his ex-city full of ex-fans:
Given his previous recollections of meeting Gruden, this last tweet is ironic, especially as he continues tweeting about relationships that unraveled more than three years ago.
In the end, everyone deserves peace of mind, even if it doesn’t line up perfectly with reality. Hopefully, Griffin III’s trip down memory lane has helped him to process his version of the past and prepare for the future.
But a word of advice for D.C. sports fans: even if the late-night message seems sincere, don’t respond if you see an ex-sports flame peddling emotional support. The good times you had together don’t outweigh the heartache. There’s probably a good reason they aren’t here anymore.