By Matthew Kaplan
In a week with only two NFC East games, it could not have been a bigger week for teams around the division. After last week, the momentum and who the true contenders in the division were seemed to have changed. Coming into week 12, the Cowboys seemed like the favorite for the division. Since the controversial Amari Cooper trade, they have seemed to find their stride. They would be hoping to continue this success against the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day.
The Cowboys-Redskins clash was the middle game of a full slate of games happening Thursday. This game would happen in Dallas and would end up being a Dallas victory, 31-23. While it would start off as a hard-fought game, the Cowboys would really take control in the third quarter behind two big Prescott to Cooper touchdown passes. Both throws would be over 40 yards and would help both achieve big games in this vital Cowboys win. Prescott would end the game 22 of 31 for 289 yards and two touchdowns plus another rushing touchdown that would come late in the game and be the final blow to the Redskins. Cooper, on the other hand, would not only catch those two touchdowns, but he would also catch six more balls for a grand total of 180 yards. If both could play like this every week along with Elliot’s consistent dominance, the Cowboys have a chance to do big things. They will take this win into next week and take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are by far the best team in the NFC and I don’t think any one sees them losing next Thursday night.
The Redskins showed, on the losing end, that without Alex Smith, they lack offensively. McCoy, while a great college player, has proven he isn’t going to give a team enough to consistently win games. Having him at quarterback might just cost the ‘Skins the rest of their season. In their loss this week, McCoy would throw three interceptions and Adrian Peterson would struggle to do much against a strong Cowboys defensive front.
The Eagles and Redskins will both go in to next week like it’s a playoff game. The match-up on Monday night in Philadelphia could put either side out of the division race. Both teams need the victory to keep pace. There is still a lot of football to play and it is still anyone’s division, so the Eagles coming off the Sunday afternoon win over the Giants need to come out with a purpose on Monday.