ARLINGTON — The Giants cooked their turkey on Thanksgiving Day, and Odell Beckham Jr. took one step closer to becoming a Dallas Cowboy.
The Cowboys cruised to a 28-20 NFC East holiday victory in a rowdy AT&T Stadium, holding the Giants scoreless for most of the second half until a foul time Daniel Jones passed TD from 1 meter to Richie James with eight seconds left.
Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb recovered the ensuing inbound kick to end it.
Dallas scored three tight touchdowns: two by Dalton Schultz and one by Peyton Hendershot. Tight end Jake Ferguson beat a Giants defenseman in the fourth quarter.
The Giants’ battered secondary had no answer for Lamb with three of their four starters, despite two interceptions from Dak Prescott in the first half.
Dallas edge rusher Micah Parsons recorded two sacks. And Saquon Barkley was limited to 39 rushing yards, in addition to dropping a huge fourth pass from Jones in the third quarter. Barkley has rushed for 61 yards in his last two games.
Beckham, the coveted free agent wide receiver, plans to visit the Giants, Cowboys and Bills, while continuing conversations with the Ravens and Chiefs, according to CBS insider Josina Anderson.
The Beckham Cowboys visit is scheduled for Dec. 5, according to FOX’s Jay Glazer. And the Giants brass plan to reunite and discuss when OBJ would once again stop in East Rutherford, NJ.
But it’s entirely possible at this rate that the Giants and Beckham could showcase their mutual interest in a reunion for 2023 and beyond.
The Giants (7-4) have lost three of their last four games. Their four-game NFC East streak continues with a Week 13 home game against the Washington Commanders (6-5) in 10 days. Washington hosts the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys (8-3) reaffirmed themselves second in the division behind the Philadelphia Eagles (9-1), who host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
Hendershot’s 2-yard TD run with 8:53 left put Dallas up 28-13 and effectively ended the game. The 10-play, 80-yard Cowboys TD drive was Dallas’ third TD drive of 75 or more yards on the day.
The Cowboys outscored the Giants 14-0 in a lopsided third quarter — on two passes from Prescott TD to tight end Schultz — to take a 21-13 lead in the fourth.
Dallas controlled possession for nearly 10 minutes (9:44) of the 15-minute quarter, starting with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 15-yard TD pass to Schultz at 3rd and on base.
Then Barkley dropped a 4th-and-1 pass from Jones when Brian Daboll rolled the dice on 4th-and-1 from the Giants’ own 44-yard line with 4:07 left in the third. The pass was low and behind Barkley, but he should have caught it anyway.
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence spoke from the Giants sideline before the game, his hands outstretched as he said “go for it.” And the Giants inexplicably only had 10 players on the field for that crucial game.
Schultz then caught a 6-yard touchdown pass with 2:02 left in the third quarter to put the Giants on their heels entering the fourth.
The Giants led the Cowboys, 13-7, at halftime despite winning 208 to 160 yards and snapping 92 yards rushing to Dallas.
Prescott shot Dallas in the foot with two interceptions in the first half against Giants corner Rodarius Williams and safety Julian Love – who tied the Giants’ total interceptions in their first 10 games.
The Giants secondary did so with three of their four starters due to injury.
The Cowboys also committed seven penalties in the first half against the Giants’ four. Two Cowboys defensive penalties extended two of the Giants’ scoring drives.
And a third penalty from corner Trevon Diggs nullified an interception late in the second quarter by safety Donovan Wilson.
Giants kicker Graham Gano had field goals for 57 and 47 yards. He went first for a 3-0 lead after a fourth save of Ezekiel Elliott by ex-Cowboy Jaylon Smith at the Dallas 40-yard line.
A 6-yard rush from Elliott TD put Dallas ahead, 7-3, on the first play of the second quarter to cap an 11-play, 93-yard drive. But Darius Slayton jumped 44 yards to set up a Barkley TD 1-yard run for the 10-7 lead at 9:28.
Giants corner Darnay Holmes then interrupted a Prescott pitch intended for Lamb that Love picked and returned to the Giants 31-yard line with 1:50 left in the half.
And Gano scored his second basket at halftime to take a six-point lead. The Giants were lucky to lead despite Barkley having just 29 rushing yards at halftime.
They never brought it forward – or themselves – in the second half to hold on.