AP Photo/Matt Patterson
It was the best of halves, it was the worst of halves for Dak Prescott on Thanksgiving. Luckily for the Dallas Cowboys, the good half came in the final 30 minutes and put away the New York Giants.
Prescott recovered from two first-half interceptions to lead the Cowboys to a 28-20 win in a key NFC East showdown, throwing for two scores and leading the Cowboys on three touchdown drives in the second half to secure the win.
He finished 21-of-30 for 261 yards on the day. Ezekiel Elliott (16 carries for 92 yards) and Peyton Hendershot added rushing scores.
The victory moved the Cowboys to 8-3 on the season and alone in second place in the NFC East behind the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles, while the Giants fell to 7-4 and dropped to third in the division.
And as NFL Twitter noted, it was all because Prescott caught fire in the second half:
Jonah Tuls @JonahTulsNFL
Dak Prescott is on another planet in this second half
Gregg Rosenthal @greggrosenthal
Dak is out of his mind in the second half
David Helman @davidhelman_
4-5 absolute darts from Dak since halftime. my goodness.
John Owning @JohnOwning
Dak is feelin it
RJ Ochoa @rjochoa
It has not been perfect by any means but this has been an impressive bounce-back quarter from the Dallas Cowboys, especially Dak Prescott.
Patrik [No C] Walker @VoiceOfTheStar
Dak again under pressure and again it doesn’t matter because he’s dotting the field like the turf has freckles
Cuz Lightyear @NYencee
Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb are so weird in the sense that one second they can look so lost and then in a split second can look other worldly
Granted, the Cowboys went into the half trailing 13-7 in part because Prescott threw two picks and also missed a number of throws, leaving big plays on the field. He now has six interceptions in six games this season, a somewhat worrying trend.
But that won’t be the story on Thursday because he lit up the Giants in the second half and the always stout Cowboys defense didn’t allow them to score a point between the end of the second quarter and the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
For much of the season, the recipe for success for the Cowboys has been the defense stymying opponents and the Cowboys’ run game battering and bruising its way to points. And the Cowboys did that on Thanksgiving, going for 169 yards on the ground.
But Prescott’s ability to make plays through the air is why this team has Super Bowl aspirations, and why they are a different team to the one that played well with Cooper Rush under center while Prescott was hurt.
This ceiling of this Cowboys team will be determined by Prescott. That was evident in both halves on Thursday.