This was the Cowboys’ best win of the week
But I will say this and I really mean it. It’s not just one of the Thanksgiving feasts, everyone has a turkey leg expression type:
This win was a better win for the Cowboys than last Sunday in Minnesota.
Yes, I really believe it. Not for the fans, and certainly not for the punters (oh, that rear back cover), but for the very big picture. Like, a picture that extends to 2023 and maybe even deeper into January. This is the type of win the Cowboys can carry into the postseason.
To win in the playoffs, you have to grind. You have to fight. And more than anything, you have to adapt, especially when things don’t go as planned. That’s probably the best part of the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day win here against the Giants, which ended a three-game losing streak this holiday season.
But it started to look like four straight losses, especially when the Giants went on a 13-7 run. Of course, that’s not insurmountable and in fact the Cowboys were winning the game the next time New York had the ball.
That happened, however, because the Cowboys came out and started adjusting on the wing. That’s the time off, especially the Thanksgiving extension. So while the Jonas Brothers were rolling around on stage, the Cowboys were making some changes on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the biggest change was limiting the risks. They turned the ball over twice and then had another turnover on downs. In the second half, Dak Prescott and the offense took better care of the ball, but they also attacked the sidelines a lot more. His passes to CeeDee Lamb and even Dalton Schultz were high and wide. Not great for a strike zone, but great for receivers who can go make plays.
Defensively, they broke inside more against the run, and we know what that does: it allows pass rushers to eat, especially that “Lionbacker” named Micah Parsons. He had two more sacks in the second half, and when he makes plays, he sends a shockwave through the rest of the defense and maybe the entire team.
You can call that adjustment, or maybe it’s just not making mistakes in the second half. Regardless, the Cowboys figured out how to win the game. And if you think back to Week 3 at the Meadowlands, this is essentially what happened in that game. The Giants led 13-6 in the third quarter before Cooper Rush and the offense woke up and the Cowboys won by a touchdown.
This time, they won by eight and had to take an onside kick at the end to secure the win. But make no mistake, the Cowboys were the best team and they finally showed.
And that is what MUST HAPPEN in the playoffs. We’ve seen too many times when the “better teams” mess up to start the game, and in the playoffs against good teams, you can’t always come together like that.
That’s why I think this victory was impressive in its own way. Short week, coming from the top, against a beaten team and against a team you’ve already beaten. But somehow, they figure out how to get the job done and how to move forward.
In my book, that’s more important than beating the Vikings by 37 points.
Either way, it’s all the same. He’s like a boxer. Some fights will be first-round eliminations; others will complete 12 rounds and you will have to go to the judges. But no matter how it’s played, it’s important to show that you can play either way.
On this day, the Cowboys had to dig a little deeper. Maybe it wasn’t that pretty, but it was “pretty much” what they will see in the playoffs.
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