Washington went down to Dallas and stomped all over the Cowboys. It was a romp, a runaway, a beatdown.
For Washington Football Team fans that game was undeniably the most fun 60 minutes of the season. Unquestionably.
How'd they do it? All three phases and a very good young running back named Antonio Gibson.
- Go big on Thanksgiving - Prior to the national television lights of Thanksgiving in Dallas, Antonio Gibson was slowly building a name for himself around the league. Then against the Cowboys with all of America watching, Gibson exploded with 115 yards and three touchdowns. He was dominant, and now has 11 rushing touchdowns this season. That's the most of any rookie running back in the league, and it leaves him just two TDs short of Alfred Morris' rookie TD record set back in 2012. Gibson is the real deal folks.
- Stay hustling - Washington hadn't scored more than 30 points this year, so the 41-point explosion in Dallas turns some heads. Besides Gibson's impressive day and great play-calling by offensive coordinator Scott Turner, Washington also just got great hustle plays and smart special teams. Terry McLaurin grabbed seven catches for 92 yards, but his most impressive effort was a chase down tackle of Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith that otherwise would have resulted in a Dallas TD. How about rookie Khaleke Hudson, who sniffed out a Cowboys fake punt and made a key tackle. Don't forget Montez Sweat with an interception returned for a touchdown. Impressive.
- Turkey bones - Washington played well and thoroughly stomped the Cowboys, but some bonehead decisions by Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy helped too. In the first half, McCarthy went for it on 4th down from his own 34, which was questionable, but then called a pass play, which was dumb. Dallas needed an inch. In the second half, the fake punt attempt was downright dumb. Dallas was backed up inside their own 30, it was 4th and 10, and the fake call included a slow-developing double reverse where the ball carrier was about 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage when he started going upfield. Dumb.
Awesome win for Washington and Ron Rivera. The playoff talk is very, very real now.