Cowboys try to match best start by beating Redskins
Dak Prescott will try to match the best NFL season start in Dallas Cowboys history today when the star-helmeted squad hosts arch-rival Washington in a US Thanksgiving holiday showdown.
The Cowboys, with an NFL-best 9-1 record, are not the only division pace-setters in action as NFC North co-leaders Detroit and Minnesota meet while AFC North co-leaders Pittsburgh visit Indianapolis.
Rookie quarterback Prescott, who has relegated veteran Tony Romo to a reserve role, guided Dallas to nine consecutive triumphs since losing on September 11, but this is the first time he will play such a major game on only three days of rest. “I’m excited about it,” Prescott said. “I’ve never done this before, to respond real quick and play another game. But I love ball and I love these games. I’m excited for it and looking forward to it.”The only 10-1 start in Cowboys history came in 2007 but it will take completing a season sweep of the Redskins to equal it.
“We’re taking it one game at a time and focusing on what’s happening at that moment,” said Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who has five touchdown catches. “We’re not looking too far ahead.” The Cowboys have a 29-18 with one drawn record in their traditional Thanksgiving home game, including a 6-1 record on the holiday against Washington. The Redskins, 6-3 with one draw, are off to their best start since 1986 and since losing to Dallas 27-23 at home on September 18, they have six wins and a draw from eight games. “We’re feeling good, but at the same time it’s a short week and we’re playing one of the best teams in the NFL on Thursday,” said Washington’s Kirk Cousins, who has seven touchdowns passes in his last three games. Redskins’ defenders will be tested by the league’s top rookies in Prescott, who has thrown for 17 touchdowns and run for four more, and Ezekiel Elliott, who leads NFL rushers with 1,102 yards.
LIONS WIN WITH LATE HEROICS
At Detroit, the host Lions and Vikings are both 6-4. A fourth-quarter fightback has been needed in every Detroit triumph.
“Every one of their games they’ve played have been seven points or less,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “I think they’ve done a great job at the end of ballgames, including the one we played. The biggest thing is once you start winning, you develop confidence and that’s what they’ve done at the end of ballgames.”
Detroit won 22-16 at Minnesota earlier this month, Matt Prater forcing over-time with a 58yard field goal and Matthew Stafford throwing a 28-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate for the victory. The Lions have won three Thanksgiving Day games in a row after dropping nine consecutive games on the holiday.
“I expect it to be an awesome atmosphere and both teams playing at a high level,” Stafford said. “From a game-planning standpoint, at least you’re familiar. They are fresh in your mind from just a couple of weeks ago. It doesn’t diminish the challenge. They’re a really good defense.”
COLTS OUT OF LUCK?
At Indianapolis, the host Colts and Pittsburgh enter 5-5. That has the Steelers level with Baltimore atop the AFC North while the Colts