Well, we've run out of NFL quarterbacks past and present to compare to Robert Griffin III.

Now we have moved on to legendary film characters.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, after the nation watched a Thanksgiving feast of shock and awe with RGIII throwing for four touchdowns in a 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys, compared his rookie quarterback to Paul Newman's "Cool Hand Luke."

"You know, he's kind of like Cool Hand Luke," Shanahan said. "He doesn't get too upset about anything. He just handles himself and goes about his business and works extremely hard to prepare for a game. And he knows how to avoid distractions, because he focuses on his job and doesn't seem to let anything bother him. And that's why he has the success that he has, because he is very disciplined and very determined, and he works at it."

Now, maybe Shanahan doesn't remember the opening to "Cool Hand Luke," when Luke is arrested for sawing the heads off parking meters. The character seemed to lack a little focus there and certainly appeared to be bothered by something.

But it's an apt comparison in one sense -- both are seen as saviors.

Some interpretations of the 1967 film say that the story is based on the New Testament, and that Luke is a Christ-like figure. Eating 50 eggs, in the famous scene from the film, is his version of a miracle -- sort of like throwing eight touchdown passes in two weeks.

We're a long way from Michael Vick and Steve Young comparisons now.

"I've never seen anything like this," former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson declared during the Fox half time show of RGIII's performance -- and he's right. We're watching something that we haven't seen before from a rookie quarterback.

Eleven NFL career games -- 16 touchdowns passes, four interceptions, a 104.6 passer rating and 642 yards rushing.

He became the first player in Redskins history to pass for four touchdowns in consecutive games.

He is the first player in NFL history to have four 60-yard passing touchdowns and a 60-yard rushing touchdown in a season.

He is the first rookie since at least the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to have multiple games with four or more passing touchdowns in a season.

Nobody can eat 50 eggs.

"He must be pretty cool," RGIII told reporters after the game about the "Cool Hand Luke" comparison. "That was good, yeah. ... I don't know who that is."

He answered with a laugh after crushing the dreams of the Redskins' most hated rival in their backyard on a day that historically conjures up nightmares for Redskins fans.

Like George Kennedy, the Dragline character in the film, said about Luke: "That's my darling Luke. He grins like a baby but bites like a gator."

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.