On another hand, the Cowboys passing game didn’t look to be deficient of targets.
Lamb surpassed 100 yards (106) on just six catches, Gallup had his best post-ACL tear performance with a five-catch, 63-yard day, and the Cowboys’ deep tight end room scored three touchdowns while moving the ball 82 yards in addition to their blocking contributions.
Perhaps two moments best summarized the Cowboys’ performance.
There was Prescott’s 15-yard completion to Lamb despite a literal gut punch from Giants pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, an apt metaphor for how the Cowboys took (some self-inflicted) hits early but ultimately powered through toward victory.
And then there was the celebration — yes, we are discussing a touchdown celebration — after undrafted rookie tight end Peyton Hendershot scored in the fourth quarter to top off Dallas’ eighth victory of the season.
Hendershot and the three other Cowboys tight ends lined up on the play — yes, Dallas ran a four-tight end package and it wasn’t even National Tight Ends Day — headed toward the Salvation Army Red Kettle past the end zone
Schultz, rookie Jake Ferguson and tight end Sean McKeon jumped into the Kettle, as Cowboys including Elliott had in the past.
Hendershot grabbed the football as his fellow position mates alternately popped up, in what was undoubtedly a delightful game of Whack-A-Mole.
Ultimately, that’s what this Thanksgiving Day division game became: a whack-a-mole contest in which six different Cowboys weapons became a collective problem the Giants’ battered defense could no longer handle, while Dallas’ pass rush played defensive whack-a-mole pressuring Giants quarterback Daniel Jones repeatedly, including seven hits and three sacks.
Jones finished the game going 21-of-35 with 228 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers. Slayton, with his 44-yard grab, led all Giants skill players with 63 yards as Dallas’ improving run defense held Barkley to 39 yards on 11 carries and 13 yards on six targets (four catches).
Prescott completed 21-of-30 attempts, including 11-of-14 second-half throws, for 261 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Elliott rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown.