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Cowboys vs. Giants points, takeaways: CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott key to second-half boost in Dallas on Thanksgiving

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With or without Odell Beckham Jr., the Cowboys offense is a force to be reckoned with. A week after scoring 40 points at Minnesota, Dallas scored a touchdown on three consecutive second half plays against the Giants on Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys’ scoring spree led to a 28-20 victory that moved them to 8-3. The Giants fell to 7-4 after losing their second straight game.

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Trailing 13-7 at halftime, the Cowboys took the lead for good on Dak Prescott’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz midway through the third quarter. The score capped off a 14-play, 75-yard drive that saw the Cowboys impose their will on both a run and a pass.

Prescott and Schultz teamed up in the end zone again moments later after the Cowboys defense stopped the Giants on fourth-and-1 at New York’s 40-yard line. Daniel Jones, facing pressure from Donovan Wilson, threw a wide pass to Saquon Barkley that Barkley was unable to clear from behind.

The Cowboys delivered the knock on their next drive when Peyton Hendershot scored on a jet sweep from two yards out. CeeDee Lamb made three impressive catches on the drive, including two one-handed catches before scoring a Hendershot.

The Giants briefly gave their fans a slight glimmer of hope when Richie James caught a short touchdown pass with eight seconds left in the game. But the Cowboys quickly quashed that hope when Lamb recovered the onside kick.

The Giants led in the first half with two interceptions off Prescott. The second pick, courtesy of Julian Love, set up Graham Gano’s 47-yard field goal on the last play of the half. Barkley gave the Giants the lead on a one-yard touchdown run less than six minutes into the second quarter.

Here’s a closer look at what’s happening in Dallas.

Why did the Cowboys win?

As they did in their Week 3 win over the Giants, the Cowboys dominated on the floor. Elliott touched a 92-yard touchdown and had 16 points. Pollard contributed 60 yards as the Cowboys team’s touchdown 169 yards and two scores on 39 carries.

Prescott rebounded after the first half. He went 11 of 14 for 145 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t count. Prescott, who had now won 10 straight games over the Giants, hit it off running the ball to Lamb, who hauled six passes for 106 yards. Prescott also successfully caught the ball on tight ends Jake Ferguson and Schultz, who caught seven passes combined for 88 yards.

Defensively, the Cowboys dominated possession. They held the Giants to 3 of 11 in the third and 0 of 2 in the fourth. As usual, the Cowboys enjoyed a great game from Micah Parsons, who had two sacks and two tackles for a loss.

Why did the giants lose?

It was a rough night for the Giants offense, especially in the second half. Barkley only had 39 yards on 11 carries in the game. Slayton only had one catch for five yards in the second half. Jones threw for just 105 yards in the second half, with a good portion of those yards coming when the Giants were trailing by double digits.

Without much help from their offense, the Giants defense wilted in the second half. They couldn’t make it out of the field, however, as the Cowboys went 7-of-11 in the third. New York also allowed a touchdown on each of Dallas’ drives inside the 20-yard line.

turning point

It looked like a shootout could be in the works after the Cowboys scored on their first drive of the second half. The Giants quickly picked up a first down on a short run by Barkley on their next drive. But a two-play sack later by Parsons and a five-yard completion by Barkley put up a fourth-and-one on the Giants 45.

The Giants, who chose to bet in a similar spot in the first half, decided to go for it. The play call looked good, as Barkley was open on the flat. But Wilson’s pressure seemed to affect Jones’ accuracy, as the ball was behind an open Barkley, who tried but was unable to draw the pass. The Cowboys added to their lead seven plays later.

The Giants only had 10 men down on that crucial play.

Play the game

Lamb’s one-handed catch was impressive for multiple reasons. Not only was it a great catch, but it came at a pivotal moment, as the Cowboys were looking to take a double-digit lead. It was one of several eyebrow raises for Lamb, who went over 100 yards receiving for the second time in three games.

Shout-out is also for Ferguson’s massive hitch in the Cowboys’ final scoring campaign.

What’s Next

Dallas will face the Colts for the Cowboys’ second straight home game. The Colts, who will host the Steelers on Monday night, have split their last two games after hiring Jeff Saturday as interim coach. Indianapolis played well under Saturday. They outlasted the Raiders in Week 10 before being narrowly defeated by Philadelphia last Sunday.

The Giants will host Washington for the second of their four straight games against NFC East opponents. After a 1-4 start, the Leaders are 6-5 after wins over the previously undefeated Texans and Eagles. Washington is 4-1 this season with Taylor Hynecke as the starting quarterback. The Leaders’ quarterbacks have the continuing distinction of Terry McLaurin, who has nearly 300 more yards than Washington’s No. 2 wide receiver.

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