Ten Takes: First-Place Washington Downs Cowboys, 41-16

It was a pull-away Thanksgiving win for the Washington Football Team and for now a magic carpet ride into first place in the NFC East as they rolled over the Dallas Cowboys.
By Chris Russell ,

The Washington Football Team is in first place in the NFC East following the second victory in as many weeks... this one at the hands of their NFC East division rival, Dallas Cowboys.

Let's get to our 10 Takes after a 41-16 victory at AT&T Stadium. 

1. It was another dominant second half that did the trick for Washington. The score was 17-13 at the half in favor of the Football Team, and as they've been doing all year, WFT came alive after halftime, outscoring Dallas 24-3 in the final 30 minutes.

2. Scott Turner deserves the game ball for pulling out the stops in Arlington.

From the Logan Thomas reverse to Thomas checking in as a wild-cat QB sneak option on third-and-1, and of course the Houdini-like running play with J.D. McKissic crouching behind the guard in a gadget play ... the WFT offense was unpredictable from the start, and it made all of the difference. 

3. Jack Del Rio also got a tremendous performance out of his defensive line, dominating the line of scrimmage from start to finish. 

Montez Sweat had a pick-six, Chase Young and Tim Settle both finished the game with sacks, Daron Payne was dominant, and Jonathan Allen helped force a fumble on Ezekiel Elliott. 

READ MORE: Ryan Kerrigan -- "Everyone's Watching" 

4. Dustin Hopkins was very good today, which is has been a rare occurrence of late. He also connected on all of his extra points and a couple of field goals.

5. Antonio Gibson has been great all season, but today he had three scores and had his way with the Dallas defense. He now has 11 rushing touchdowns in 11 career games with Washington.

6. Terry McLaurin may have saved the game when he chased down Jaylon Smith on an interception that should have been a pick-six. McLaurin did his best D.K. Metcalf impersonation and saved a touchdown. 

The defense didn't let his effort go to waste as they forced Dallas to kick a field goal on a goal-to-go situation after the return. 

7. Thomas caught a touchdown pass near halftime that he may have been guilty of offensive pass interference on, but hey they didn't call it. Thomas was also involved in several of the gadget plays that Turner called.

READ MORE: Riggo on Thanksgiving, Running Backs and the Rivalry

8. The Washington Football Team made Dallas pay twice for gambles deep in their own territory. On 4th-and-1, they got away with a possible defensive pass interference from Ronald Darby, as well as a bonus 15-yard personal foul. A couple of plays later after a long third-down conversion to J.D. McKissic, Washington scored on the touchdown pass to Thomas. 

9. The most egregious gamble by the Cowboys was at their own-24 in a 20-16 Washington lead early in the fourth quarter, when they attempted a fake punt on a fourth-and-ten situation, and it failed, with rookie Khaleke Hudson helping to defend the play.

Washington was all over it, thanks to a predictable history from John Fassell, the Cowboys special-teams coordinator, who is known for calling up fakes in those kinds of situations.

Both plays proved critical in the outcome of the game and provided Washington with major momentum swings.

10. Washington was 7-of-13 on third down and held the ball for 35:56 throughout the game. 

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving! (Or happy Ron Rivera January!) The Washington Football Team is in first place in the NFC East, at least for now.

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