Buoyed by a strong performance from the defense, the Cowboys beat the Redskins 31-23 on Thanksgiving Day at AT&T Stadium. Dallas defenders shut down Washington backup quarterback Colt McCoy—starting in place of an injured Alex Smith. McCoy threw three interceptions Thursday night, including one with 4:18 left on the clock as the Redskins tried to cut down Dallas' lead. The pass was intended for receiver Maurice Harris, who couldn't grab the ball while facing triple coverage.
The win moves Dallas (6-5) into a first-place NFC East tie with Washington (6-5).
The Cowboys scored early as running back Ezekiel Elliott hauled in a 16-yard touchdown only minutes into the first quarter. Washington struggled to score early on as Dallas' defense pressured McCoy, but the Redskins tied the game halfway through the second quarter when McCoy connected with veteran tight end Vernon Davis on a 53-yard pass.
In the next series, it looked like Dallas was going to respond with a touchdown on first-and-goal in the red zone as quarterback Dak Prescott barely missed an open WR Noah Brown in front of the end zone. Prescott was sacked on the following play and the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal, entering halftime up 10-7. Redskins defenders put plenty of pressure on Prescott in the first half, sacking him four times.
McCoy came out slinging in the second half, capping off a quick three-play series to find receiver Trey Quinn in the end zone with a 10-yard pass. Despite gaining a 13-10 lead, the Redskins didn't get to hold on to it very long. The Cowboys followed it up with Prescott's short pass to the left to recently acquired WR Amari Cooper, who scored on a 40-yard run.
Prescott and Cooper teamed up again late in the third when the quarterback threw a pass over the middle to the receiver. Cooper evaded three defenders to score on the reception and run of 90 yards. Prescott kept the momentum going by scrambling up the middle for five yards for a score to increase the Cowboys' lead to 31-13. Elliott celebrated the touchdown by picking Prescott up and placing him in the Salvation Army kettle behind the end zone. However, Prescott was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Washington cut Dallas' lead to 31-20 with another touchdown and settled for a late fourth-quarter field goal at its final attempt to withstand Dallas' defense.
Up next, both teams play in primetime slots again, with the Cowboys host the Saints on Nov. 29 on Thursday Night Football. Washington will face the Eagles in Philadelphia on Monday Night Football on Dec. 3.