Cowboys vs. Giants score, with: CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott key Dallas’ 2nd-half surge on Thanksgiving Day

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

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

Prescott and Schultz connected again in the end zone moments later after the Cowboys defense stopped the Giants on 4-1. Facing pressure from Donovan Wilson, Daniel Jones threw an off-target pass to Saquon Barkley that Barkley couldn’t block from behind.

The Cowboys delivered the coup de grâce on their next drive when Peyton Hendershot scored on a two-yard scamper. CeeDee Lamb made three impressive catches on the drive, including a one-handed grab two plays before Hendershot’s score.

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

The Giants led at halftime thanks to two interceptions off Prescott. The second pick, courtesy of safety Julian Love, set up Graham Gano’s 47-yard field goal on the final play of the half. Barkley gave the Giants the lead on a one-yard touchdown less than six minutes into the second quarter.

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

Why the Cowboys won

Just like in the Week 3 win over the Giants, the Cowboys dominated on the ground. Elliott rumbled for 92 yards and a score on 16 carries. Pollard contributed 60 yards as the Cowboys rushed for 169 yards and two scores on 39 carries as a team.

Prescott rebounded after a so-so first half. He went 11 of 14 for 145 yards and two touchdowns and no picks. Prescott, now on a 10-game winning streak over the Giants, was able to get the ball to Lamb, who hauled in six passes for 106 yards. Prescott also managed to get the ball to tight ends Jake Ferguson and Schultz, who combined to catch seven passes for 88 yards.

Defensively, the Cowboys dominated in decreasing possessions. They held the Giants to 3-of-11 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down. As usual, the Cowboys enjoyed stellar play from Micah Parsons, who had two sacks and two tackles for loss.

Why the Giants lost

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

Without much help from their offense, the Giants’ defense — playing without cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Fabian Moreau — faltered in the second half. They couldn’t get off the field as the Cowboys went 7-of-11 on third down. New York also allowed a touchdown on each of Dallas’ trips inside the 20-yard line.

Turning point

After the Cowboys scored on their first drive of the second half, it looked like there might be a shootout. The Giants quickly picked up a first down on a short run by Barkley on their ensuing drive. But a sack two plays later by Parsons and a five-yard completion to Barkley set up a fourth-and-1 at the Giants’ 45.

The Giants, who opted to punt in a similar spot in the first half, decided to go for it. The play looked good because Barkley was open in the flat. But Wilson’s pressure appeared to affect Jones’ accuracy as the ball was behind an open Barkley, who tried but couldn’t haul in the pass. The Cowboys extended their lead seven plays later.

The Giants only had 10 men on the field in that decisive game.

Playing the game

Lamb’s one-handed catch was impressive for several reasons. Not only was it an amazing catch, but it came at a key moment when the Cowboys were looking to take a double-digit lead. It was one of several eyebrow-raisers for Lamb, who topped 100 yards for the second time in three games.

A shout-out is also in order for Ferguson’s Herculean hurdle on the Cowboys’ final score.

Quotable

“Our defense can win a lot of games, so we’ve got to lean on them. Those guys played well tonight … they allowed us to gain momentum. We just took over the game. That’s what we can do. Build on that half and it just kept growing .” — Prescott, to the Fox Erin Andrews game when asked about his defense’s second-half performance

What will be next

Dallas will face the Colts in the second of the Cowboys’ three straight home games. The Colts, who will host the Steelers on Monday night, have split their last two games after naming Jeff Saturday as interim coach. Indianapolis played well on Saturday; they beat the Raiders in Week 10 before being narrowly beaten by Philadelphia last Sunday.

The Giants will host Washington in their second of four straight games against NFC East Division foes. After a 1-4 start, the Chiefs are 6-5 after wins over the Texans and previously undefeated Eagles. Washington is 4-1 this season with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. The Commanders quarterbacks have enjoyed the continued excellence of wideout Terry McLaurin, who has nearly 300 more yards than Washington’s second-leading receiver.

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