ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – No matter how you carve it up, the Cowboys will be playing for first place in the NFC East when they host the rival Redskins at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day.
The dream scenario was set up after Dallas erased the nightmare they experienced in Atlanta last year.
The Cowboys are riding their first two-game winning streak of the season after beating the Falcons 22-19 on Sunday in Atlanta.
Dallas won the game on Brett Maher’s 42-yard field goal as time expired.
Ezekiel Elliott carried the Cowboys to victory with 201 total yards of offense (122 yards rushing and 79 yards receiving).
Dallas climbed back to .500 (5-5) for the season, and stand one game behind Washington (6-4) in the NFC East, setting up a tasty showdown on Turkey Day.
“Thanksgiving….to have a lot at stake there, when you are having that national holiday is a big deal for us,” Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones admitted on Sunday. “You know what Thanksgiving means to the Cowboys. To our tradition.”
Dak Prescott agreed. “All the years of watching the Cowboys and eating Thanksgiving, and then turning on the game. Now to play the game, and then go eat Thanksgiving, it’s humbling. I know how important that game is, and how big this game is, especially coming up this week.”
Thursday will mark the ninth time Dallas will host the Redskins on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys are 7-1 against Washington in those games.
What will make Thursday’s game even more interesting is the fact that former Texas Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy will be the Redskins starting quarterback. Washington lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season after he suffered two broken bones in his right leg during the Redskins loss to Houston on Sunday.
Ezekiel Elliott has powered the Cowboys during their two-game winning streak against the Eagles and Falcons. Elliott has tallied more than 200 yards of offense in each of those games. The running back thinks the Cowboys have found their formula for success.
“We can’t lose this grip. We can’t lose the way we are going out there and working everyday. We can’t lose the way we go out there and compete on Sundays,” Elliott claimed. “We’ve got to build on that, and get even better so we can hopefully get into the playoffs.”