ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — CeeDee Lamb could only smile as officers held up an out-of-bounds call that the Dallas receiver hoped would be a touchdown on his second one-handed catch of the game.
Instead, he had to settle for fielding three TDs.
Lamb put the Cowboys in position for one of Dak Prescott’s two scoring passes to Dalton Schultz and Ezekiel Elliott’s TD run in a 28-20 win over the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day.
Toe-tapping TD Lamb, who thought he had set himself up, instead became rookie Peyton Hendershot, who ran for the 2-yard score and then channeled all three of his teammates into a giant Salvation Army red cauldron for a whac -A-Mole celebration with him to celebrate Dallas an extra point away from a 28-13 lead.
“I definitely thought the CeeDee catch was a touchdown,” Prescott said after his 10th straight win over the Giants (7-4). “I went to the sidelines, dropped my helmet and everything.
“The Whac-A-Mole was great,” said Prescott. “The guys told me about it earlier in the week. They were afraid of a fine or a penalty. We said, ‘Make sure you’re two touchdowns ahead. We have a few guys that can help with punishment. Let’s go.'”
The win ended a three-game Thanksgiving losing streak for the Cowboys (8-3), who were a game ahead of the Giants in the NFC East while winning the season series. Philadelphia (9-1) leads the division.
Saquon Barkley was held at 39 yards with a 1-yard TD behind a makeshift offensive line, missing three starters through injury in New York’s third loss in the last four games.
Dallas, the NFL leader in sacks coming in, dropped Daniel Jones three times and limited him to 14 yards rushing after running for first downs seven times in the first meeting, a 23-16 Dallas win.
Jones’ TD pass to Richie James in the dying seconds was too late for the Giants to capitalize on a 2-0 lead in the second Thanksgiving meeting of 122 overall in the legendary rivalry.
The Giants thought they had the game’s first touchdown on Jones’ pass to Isaiah Hodgins, but Tire Phillips, playing out of position on the right tackle, was flagged as an unsuitable receiver in downfield.
New York coach Brian Daboll yelled at one of the officials, and the Giants finally went for a field goal.
“You have to ask the officials that,” said Daboll when asked about the negated TD.
Prescott’s TD shots against Schultz came about five minutes apart in the third quarter, turning a 13-7 deficit into a 21-13 lead. The first was a 15-yarder on third-and-goal.
The Dallas quarterback’s winning streak against the Giants began after losing to them twice as the Cowboys won 13-3 in his rookie year in 2016.
Lamb, who had six catches for 106 yards, had a 25-yard grab over center before Elliott’s 6-yard scoring run in the first game of the second quarter.
Lamb’s first one-handed grab was a 15-yarder ahead of Schultz’s second TD. A 23-yarder put Dallas on the 2, and Lamb thought he’d made another one-handed catch in the back of the endzone.
Mike McCarthy challenged the decision that the toe tapper was off. Referee Scott Novak kept the call pretty accurate, saying one heel touched the back line before the second foot was put down.
The Cowboys were so confident it would be overturned that they had their PAT unit on the field after watching the replay.
Elliott had a season-high 92 yards and the Cowboys overcame two interceptions from Prescott, who threw for 261 yards.
Graham Gano set the New York record for longest field goal with a 57-yarder in the first quarter. The kick came fourth and 32nd after the Giants nullified a touchdown with an unallowed receiver penalty in downfield and Jones was flagged for intentional grounding.
Illness has sidelined three Cowboys who would have been active at DT Johnathan Hankins, DE Tarell Basham and CB Kelvin Joseph. … Giants CB Cor’Dale Flott left the third quarter to be checked for a concussion.
Giants: Washington attends the first of three straight NFC East games for the Giants on December 4th. The third of these is another meeting with the commanders.
Cowboys: A three-game homestand continues December 4 against Indianapolis. Another AFC South opponent (Houston) follows December 11 to complete the home stretch.
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