The only time the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Giants in their last ten meetings, it helped keep them out of the playoffs in week 17 of the 2020 season. Brian Daboll’s upstart team doesn’t have the same stakes coming to AT&T Stadium for Thanksgiving, but off a loss to the Lions they suddenly find themselves behind the Cowboys in the NFC East again, the only division in the conference with at least three teams with winning records (the NFC East actually has a total of four).
The Cowboys still have a lot to prove this season, with their latest 40-3 win putting them back in the conversation as Super Bowl contenders. A short week against a team they’ve dominated in recent history may help here, but the previous week’s loss in Green Bay is still a fresh reminder of the Cowboys’ shortcomings.
Having already beaten the Giants on a Monday night on the road with Cooper Rush, the Cowboys should be more than encouraged by Dak Prescott’s career 64% completion percentage, 21 touchdowns, and 2,886 yards against the Giants in 11 games. This is the most yards and touchdowns for Prescott against any division rival, coming off a 22-25 for 276 yard clinic at the Vikings.
It was the Cowboys backfield that took over this game, with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard splitting 15 carries each and Pollard catching two long touchdowns to put the game out of reach. This offensive onslaught from the Cowboys made Kirk Cousins and Minnesota's offense one-dimensional, taking away Dalvin Cook and setting up the pass rush to sack Cousins seven times.
A similar formula, one that Jerry Jones said was “followed to perfection” last week for the biggest road win in team history, could yield similar results to extend the Cowboys winning streak against the Giants to four. A potential suitor for free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants were embarrassed at home vs. the Lions, allowing three rushing touchdowns to Jamaal Williams and trailing 31-12 in the fourth quarter. Daniel Jones had to drop back 44 times in windy conditions to try and keep New York in the game, throwing two costly interceptions.
For a Cowboys team that expected to have the quarterback advantage in every division game they played this season, they also got back to their defensive ways in a bounce back effort on Dan Quinn’s side of the ball. Dallas was confident they could fix their issues in run defense quickly, and doing so in the same game Kellen Moore’s offense played their most complete game showed the Cowboys could be peaking at a point in the season they faded a year ago. Having already seen Cooper Rush beat Daniel Jones once this season, the first Thanksgiving meeting between the Giants and Cowboys since 1992 favors the home team heavily.
This game may be more high scoring than the first meeting back in week four, which was tied at three, six, and 13 before the Cowboys built a ten point lead in the fourth quarter. Brett Maher, coming off a record-breaking 60-yard kick last week, was a perfect 3-3 in this game. Wins like this without Prescott set the stage for the type of game the Cowboys now find themselves in, trying to stay in contention in a battle of teams trending opposite directions.
The Giants lost WR Wan’Dale Robinson for the season and CB Adoree Jackson for several weeks ahead of this game. If their pitch for Odell Beckham Jr. to rejoin his former team as a contender is fading, the opportunity is coming for Jones and the Cowboys to make their all-in move. Meeting with Beckham after completing a season sweep of the Giants would be sweeter than Thanksgiving dessert for the Cowboys, and help set up another crucial holiday rivalry game in four weeks vs. the Eagles on Christmas Eve.