Cow­boys try to match best start by beat­ing Red­skins

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

Paul Ste­wart

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