Observations from Cowboys Thanksgiving win over Redskins
By: Kyle Madson
Thanksgiving’s NFL slate got off to a sluggish start as the Bears and Lions struggled their way to a 23-16 finish. The afternoon game wasn’t much better with the Cowboys eventually downing Washington 31-23.
Here are some of our observations from throughout Washington’s showdown with Dallas.
– Amari Cooper is really good at football. It looked like the Raiders acquiring a first-round pick for him was a swindle, but he’s been better for the Cowboys than any of the other receivers who were traded at the deadline. He had pair third-down receptions for the Cowboys’ first two conversions.
– Ezekiel Elliott had $21 waiting for him in the end zone, and he tossed the money in the Salvation Army bucket he was fined for hopping in last year. That was a fun thing. It’s going to be funny when the NFL fines him for using props in a touchdown celebration.
– Shockingly, Colt McCoy’s first series did not go well. He was sacked and fumbled on a third-and-1, but Washington recovered. At least McCoy knows the offense though.
– Troy Aikman said that McCoy has a lot of the same characteristics as Alex Smith, so Washington’s whole playbook was intact with McCoy as the starter. That makes one wonder why they paid Smith $71 million guaranteed. McCoy was intercepted a few plays later on the easiest interception Cowboys defensive back Anthony Brown will ever have.
– Every Washington player who wears No. 46 is Alfred Morris from now on.
– Vernon Davis scored a 53-yard touchdown on a sweet throw from McCoy down the right sideline. That was vintage Davis, and a reminder that he was once one of the most dominant tight ends in the league. He dusted Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson and safety Jeff Heath.
– Washington’s defensive line is so nasty. They have a ton of talent along the front, but Jim Tomsula is the best position coach in the league, and it may not be close.
– Dak Prescott is not very good at being a quarterback in the NFL. Dallas had a first-and-goal at the 4. An incompletion, a sack and a check down later they were booting a 28-yard field goal. That was rough to watch.
– On Dallas’ next series, Prescott wound up to fire a throw in to receiver Michael Gallup, and he stuffed the throw directly into the turf. It was extremely funny.
– The Cowboys gave up another touchdown pass to McCoy. This time it went to Trey Quinn. This is a tough look for the Dallas who now trail 13-10 after a missed extra point. Speaking of which – the non-automatic nature of extra points makes games way more fun.
– Cooper scored on a 40-yard touchdown and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Quinton Dunbar was in coverage and fell down on a nice slant route by Cooper. Then it was off to the races. He’s a heck of a player, and if the Cowboys are going to make a run, it’s going to heavily involve the 24-year-old receiver.
– Holy smokes. The next series Cooper caught a pass over the middle, broke a tackle, and went 90 yards for a touchdown. He has seven catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns through three quarters. Imagine trading a receiver this talented.
– McCoy threw an interception to defensive lineman Demarcus Lawrence and suddenly it makes sense why Washington pays Smith instead of just playing McCoy.
– Prescott ran in for a touchdown and jumped into the Salvation Army bucket. That was a fun thing he did and he was immediately flagged for it. That’s annoying.
– Hey Alfred Morris (Kapri Bibbs) scored a touchdown!
– Somehow the Cowboys didn’t pick up a fourth-and-inches with Ezekiel Elliott. That’s not a thing that was expected. A first down could’ve iced the game. Instead Washington has a chance to pull it within one score.
– McCoy responded with another interception. Xavier Woods snared this one – it was the third takeaway by the Dallas defense. They’re not a great defense, but they’re extremely opportunistic.
– Prescott dropped a dime in to rookie receiver Michael Gallup and the rookie dropped it. That’s a bummer for Dallas because Prescott does not drop dimes that often.
– Washington pushed late, but had to settle for a field goal to pull within eight points. Their onside kick failed and the Cowboys kneeled it out. That’s a good, necessary win for Dallas.