The Dallas Cowboys picked up a huge division win on Thanksgiving against the Washington Redskins by a score of 31-26. Kirk Cousins lit Dallas up for 449 passing yards and three touchdowns, but it was not enough to lead the Redskins to a victory. This win secured a season sweep of the Redskins and almost certainly ensured a Dallas playoff berth.
Tensions were running high throughout the game, especially between Dez Bryant and Josh Norman. Last Thanksgiving after Norman and his former team, the Carolina Panthers came to town and blew out Dallas while holding Bryant to 2 catches for 26 yards, he called out Bryant and told Dallas to “get Dez’s $70 million back,” referring to the deal Bryant and the Cowboys agreed on in the summer of 2015. Bryant did not take too highly to that comment.
Now it was Bryant’s turn to take a shot at Norman. In this game, Bryant seemed to get the better of Norman as he had 5 catches for 72 yards. After the game as Dez was walking back to the locker room, he yelled at the cameramen and reporters, “Better tell Washington to get their money back.” Norman signed a $75 million deal with the Redskins this past summer.
Both players are high competitors and take things personal. The two got into multiple scuffles throughout the game and after the game they had one last thing to say to each other:
After the game, Bryant went to twitter to call out Norman:
Later that night Bryant regretted his comments:
Bryant realized he made a mistake, but owning up to it is a great sign the he is maturing more and more.
The defense struggled to prevent the Redskins from converting third downs all game, but their red zone defense was great. The Redskins only had two touchdowns on five red zone trips. It was fantastic to see the bend, don’t break mentality by the the defense.
The Redskins had 505 total yards while the Cowboys had only 353. The reason they had so many more yards than the Cowboys but did not win is because the defense was able to stop the Redskins from scoring in the red zone. The red zone defense was a big factor in the Cowboys’ win.
A very questionable play call in the game came with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter. The Redskins just scored a touchdown and were only down by 5. They decided to onside kick the ball and the Cowboys were able to recover it. A few plays later the Cowboys scored on a one yard rush by Ezekiel Elliott.
Anthony Brown has played great for a sixth round pick all year, but this game he got beat bad by DeSean Jackson. Brown stayed with Jackson for about 15 yards, but he just stopped and Jackson kept running and was wide open for a 67 yard touchdown. It was a big play in the game as the Redskins were trying to comeback.
Jordan Reed also had a good game. He went down with what looked like a pretty bad shoulder injury at the start of the second quarter. His legs got knocked out form under him and he landed right on his left shoulder and was rolling around in pain. He was able to come back however, in the second half and scored two touchdowns.
J.J. Wilcox was filling in the past few weeks with Barry Church sidelined, but he was injured this game with a thigh contusion. There is no timetable on how long he might be out if he is forced to miss anytime. On the bright side, Church is expected to practice this upcoming week and play against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.
Kirk Cousins outplayed Dak Prescott, but Prescott and the Cowboys were able to win the game. Prescott had 195 passing yards and a passing and rushing touchdown while Cousins had 449 passing yards and three passing touchdowns.
Dak Prescott continues to have one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback all time. This season he is 10-1, all other rookie quarterbacks this season are 6-16 combined. That puts it into perspective how good Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are.
Ezekiel Elliott was his normal self, rushing for an efficient 97 yards on 20 carries and scoring two touchdowns. He continues to lead the league in rushing and has shown no signs of slowing down.
LeBron James gave his prediction on the MVP and rookie of the year award:
Elliott will look to continue his strong running performance when the Cowboys take on the stingy run defense of Minnesota.
Terrance Williams made a great toe tapping catch for a touchdown at the end of the first half. It was a tremendous display of footwork and body control. That was his only catch of the game, but it was a big one.
Cole Beasley is a 5’8″ wide receiver in the NFL and has been making plays all season. This game is his 10th of the season having 53 or more receiving yards. He is turning into one of the best slot wide receivers in the NFL.
Other game notes:
- This was the most watched regular season game since 1995 (35.1 million viewers)
- This was the first game all season Dallas did not record a sack
- Dallas converted on all 4 of their red zone trips
- Sean Lee recorded his most tackles in a game this season (14)
The Cowboys put their 10 game winning streak on the line as they travel to Minnesota to take on the struggling Vikings on Thursday night.