It would be difficult to find anyone who had more fun on Thanksgiving this year than the Washington Football Team, who exploded for 41 points in a sound defeat of the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys in front of a national audience.
Washington entered the fourth quarter leading by only four points, but a pair of Antonio Gibson touchdowns coupled with Montez Sweat’s pick-six off Andy Dalton ultimately sunk the Cowboys and gave Ron Rivera and Co. their second-straight win. With the victory, Washington moved to 4-7 on the season to keep it in contention for the NFC East title.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m., NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay, Brian Mitchell and Jordan Giorgio will break down how Washington was able to take down the Cowboys, as well as where the team still needs to improve, on Washington Football Rewind.
Can’t get enough of the Washington Football Team? Don’t miss Washington Football Rewind vs. the Cowboys Tuesday night at 6 p.m., right after Washington Football Today with Julie Donaldson. Replay the game with additional commentary from Jordan Giorgio, Brian Mitchell and JP Finlay, only on NBC Sports Washington, Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Here are three storylines to look out for...
1. Cowboys’ fake punt attempt goes awry
The Cowboys began to unravel in the fourth quarter, when they attempted to run a fake punt from their own 24-yard line. Things didn’t work out quite as planned for Dallas.
Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was handed the ball and tasked with passing downfield, but he didn’t see anyone open and decided to try and run the ball instead. However, he ran toward the Washington defensive line instead of swinging to the outside, allowing the punt team to swallow him up for a loss.
On the next play, Gibson ran for a 23-yard touchdown that gave Washington momentum it would never relinquish.
2. Antonio Gibson stays hot
Gibson entered Thursday’s contest riding a four-game streak with at least one touchdown and he didn’t let it come to an end in Dallas. The rookie running back scored three times on the day while racking up 136 yards of total offense on 25 touches.
Following Week 12’s Sunday slate, Gibson ranks third among rookie running backs with 645 rushing yards behind only the Jacksonville Jaguars’ James Robinson (890) and Kansas City Chiefs' Clyde Edwards-Helaire (692). His 11 rushing touchdowns pace all rookies.
With three games left on the schedule, Gibson will look to make a late-season push for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
3. Washington’s front seven wreaks havoc
The Washington defense, particularly the big boys in the front, is considered to be the cornerstone with which Ron Rivera is building on. Even though Chase Young hasn’t recorded an other-worldly sack total and Ryan Kerrigan requested a trade earlier this year, Washington’s front seven is coming together.
Washington racked up four sacks, six tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and an interception. Young led the way with a sack and two tackles for a loss, but he was far from alone. Montez Sweat sealed the game with a pick-six off Andy Dalton while Da’Ron Payne knocked the ball out of Ezekiel Elliott’s hands for a fumble as well.
The young core is starting to make plays and look like a formidable unit under Rivera. Washington hopes that its best football is still yet to come.
Look for the Washington Football Rewind panel to discuss all the game's biggest storylines and break down how they claimed a second-straight, double-digit win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.