ARLINGTON, Texas – The annual Thanksgiving Day game is always full of festive and memorable plays and this was no different. The Cowboys were able to snap their three-game losing streak on this Turkey Day with a 28-20 win over the Giants.
While there were plenty of big plays, all games have those plays that can get overlooked, but still changed the course of the game. Here are five that made a difference.
Penalty wipes out NYG TD – After the Cowboys gave the Giants the ball on a turnover on downs early in the game, New York appeared to strike first with a touchdown pass to Isaiah Hodgins, but the officials called it back with an illegal man downfield penalty. The Giants eventually settled for a 57-yard field goal, but that seemed like a win for Dallas after giving the ball up on their own 41.
Gallup extends early drive – In the first quarter, the Cowboys were down 3-0 and needed some life on offense. On a third down back by their own goal line, Dak Prescott hit Michael Gallup for a 10-yard gain out to the 17. That started a drive that included a couple more big catches by Gallup, and the Cowboys were able to take the lead on a touchdown by Ezekiel Elliott. Had it not been for that early catch by Gallup, however, the Giants are likely getting the ball near midfield with a lead.
Defensive holding call extends drive – Coming out of halftime, the Cowboys took the lead, 14-13, thanks to a 75-yard drive that went for 14 plays. But a key penalty on the Giants' Danny Holmes kept the possession alive when he was flagged for a questionable defensive holding call on third-and-7. The incomplete pass was negated by the penalty and the Cowboys kept it rolling, eventually to the end zone for a touchdown.
Two plays lead to turnover – Two plays in one for this one. With the Cowboys up 14-13 but the Giants driving in Cowboys territory, Micah Parsons was able to sack Daniel Jones with some help from Damone Clark. It was a 1-yard loss that set up third-and-6. Anytime Parsons makes a big play, it fires up the entire defense, and on third down Leighton Vander Esch made a big tackle over the middle to keep Saquon Barkley a yard short of the first down. The Giants decided to go for it on fourth-and-short and threw an incomplete pass to give Dallas the ball back at New York's 44-yard line. The Cowboys would score six plays later.
Prescott recovers and finds Ferguson – After the Cowboys defense stopped the Giants on that fourth-and-1 play, the Dallas offense nearly gave it right back on second-and-10. Prescott fumbled the snap but it bounced right back to him. He was then able to calmy find rookie tight end Jake Ferguson over the middle for a catch and run that resulted in a 14-yard gain and a first down. Instead of third and long or perhaps a turnover, it's a first down for the Cowboys at the Giants' 30-yard line. Moments later they scored to take an eight-point lead.