By Tom Green
It was a winning Thanksgiving for the Cowboys as they toppled their NFC East rival New York Giants at JerryWorld.
Both defences were on top throughout the opening two quarters and Dak Prescott threw two first-half interceptions as the New York team applied pressure. Both offences came out looking as if they’d just finished a thanksgiving meal and were sluggish.
Dak found Ceedee Lamb to set up the Cowboys who ran in an early TD.
The Cowboys came into the break with a measly seven points on the scoreboard, maybe it was a rousing Mike McCarthy halftime speech that got them going, perhaps much praised OC Kellen Moore and DC Dan Quinn cooked up some impressive adjustments to counteract a fiery Giants first half display, or just as likely maybe the Jonas Brothers half-time show got the Cowboys out of their funk.
Whatever the reason, it was a joy to watch Dak sling the ball at ease wherever and to whomever he pleased as the Cowboys ran, caught and jumped their way through a banged up and burned out New York for all of the second half. Micah Parsons had two sacks and the Dallas defence wreaked havoc on Daniel Jones in what felt like every snap.
CeeDee Lamb was a man possessed pulling out some clutch catches, highlighted by a thing of beauty one handed grab off his helmet to set up a Dak passing TD to Dalton Schultz.
One player who caught the eye on the night was Jake Ferguson who did first did this.
And then sealed off a great performance with a touchdown.
CeeDee also got in on the scoring.
And Ezekiel Elliot had his best day of the season so far with 91 yards shockingly a season high for the former Ohio State man. Tony Pollard has risen as the premier back in Dallas in 2022 but having Zeke as another option makes the Cowboys all the more dangerous.
Saquon Barkley’s average per game yardage through the first nine games was 103.4 yards. The last two games it was 35 and it will come as no surprise that both these games resulted in comfortable defeats for the Giants.
The Giants need their face of the franchise and most gifted player to return to that form if Brian Daboll and company are going to usher in the Giants first playoff berth since 2016. Relying on the arm of Daniel Jones isn’t a recipe for winning football games and when a mean Dallas front keeps his legs in check, it leaves New York vulnerable.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier with two games against division rivals Washington and Philadelphia alongside match-ups against Minnesota and Indianapolis.
December is make or break for the 2022 New York Giants and without their star player playing at his best, it could very much end up being the latter.
While it would be foolish to overlook any opponent in the NFL, the next three weeks look quite rosy for Dallas on paper with games against the Colts, Texans and Jaguars. Their eyes must be firmly set on their Christmas Eve clash versus the Philadelphia Eagles, a game that could decide the NFC East and with it a bye in the playoffs.