The Dallas Cowboys didn’t have the clean game they had last week versus the Minnesota Vikings. In this Thanksgiving game against the New York Giants, they were full of mistakes in the first half. Seven penalties, two interceptions, an interception called back, a failed fourth-down attempt in plus territory, and Daniel Jones’ only two passing attempts over 40 yards this season; it was pretty bad.
The hope was that the Cowboys would come out and play like they did last week and put the NFL on notice again. Instead, they got in their own way with things that are avoidable.
The second half, in contrast, was quality football. A 21-7 box score through the last two quarters led to an overall satisfactory game. Dak Prescott played with poise in the second half and his receivers made catches that they haven’t been doing routinely all season. The penalties are a problem, there were 13 total on the game. Other than that and a shaky first half, the Cowboys got the necessary win over the Giants by a score of 28-20 and kept their hopes of running down the Philadelphia Eagles alive.
Ezekiel Elliott had perhaps his best game of the season. He outperformed Tony Pollard, who averaged 3.3 yards per carry to Elliott’s 5.8 and marked his season high total in rushing yards with 92. It was Pollard’s first game without a score in the last three games, but both served a purpose.
The receiving corps had perhaps its best game all season. CeeDee Lamb had his second 100-yard game in the last three games and has been coming on strong late in the season. He put on a show with some very tough catches including an incredible one-handed grab on the sidelines, all while being interfered with.
Michael Gallup marked a season high in both receptions and receiving yards (five catches for 63 yards). He made a few really nice possession grabs and his emergence would be welcomed after a pretty dormant start. Dalton Schultz scored twice and must really love having Prescott back under center.
As for the defense, Dorance Armstrong and Micah Parsons both continue their bids for Pro Bowl appearances. Parsons had two sacks and he’s continuing his Defensive Player of the Year-level of play. The cornerback room other than Trevon Diggs is a problem, though. Teams are beginning to attack Anthony Brown and it proved successful in the first half when Jones had his longest completion of the season that set up a touchdown.
The interceptions and penalties are still a bit of a problem, but in large part seemingly avoidable. This team has time before the postseason begins to fix those things and be legit contenders come January in hopes to reach a spot they haven’t been in decades. They will get extra rest and then have the Indianapolis Colts coming in next Sunday night.
Keep on keeping on, a playoff berth is coming.