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FRISCO, Texas --  On Thanksgiving Thursday, Dallas (7-3) will play host to a familiar, NFC East rival in the Washington Commanders (4-7) at AT&T Stadium, an environment that has not been hospitable to visiting squads. Dallas is in possession of the NFL's longest active home winning streak at 12 and the second-longest in franchise history, and Dallas has won its four home games this season by a combined score of 160-50. The Cowboys lead the NFL in home scoring offense (40.0 points per game), home point differential (+110) and home time of possession (37:33). 

Should the Cowboys come out with another home win on Thursday by 20 or more points, they would create NFL history as the first team to win its first five home contests of a season by that margin. They are currently one of only six teams in league history to win each of their first four games of a season by 20 or more. Just four of the previous five did so in a season in which a championship game existed, but of those four, three reached the league's championship finale in the same year.  

Teams that won each of first 4 homes games by 20+ points
NFL history

SeasonTeamSeason Result






Lost in AFC wild card



Lost Super Bowl XLI



Won Super Bowl XXVI



Won NFL title


Buffalo All-Americans

3rd in APFA (9-1-1)    

Here's a full breakdown of Thursday afternoon's Thanksgiving Day matchup, a look at whether or not the Commanders can keep up with the Cowboys. 

How to watch

  • When: Thursday, Nov. 23 | 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) 
  • TV: CBS | Live stream: Paramount+
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Odds: Cowboys -11; O/U 48.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

When the Commanders have the ball

On paper, it would appear Parsons and the Cowboys defensive front, which leads the NFL with a 47.4% quarterback pressure rate, have another strong opportunity to pad their numbers against Commanders first-time starting quarterback Sam Howell. He is the 2023 NFL season's most sacked quarterback as he has been taken down 51 times in 11 games. That total puts him on pace to be sacked 79 times, which would break the NFL single-season record set by 2002 first overall pick quarterback David Carr in the Houston Texans' first year of existence as an expansion franchise. 

The 2022 fifth-round pick, who made his NFL debut in the two teams' last matchup is playing a brand of football that has never been seen before in 2023 under offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Howell leads the NFL in pass attempts (442), completions (295), passing yards (3,038) and interceptions (12) in 2023, something no quarterback has done in a full, single season since at least the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. 

Sam Howell this season

NFL Rank







Pass Attempts



Comp Pct



Passing Yards



Passing Yards/Att



Pass TD







Passer Rating



Howell's stat sheet is also likely music to Cowboys second-year cornerback DaRon Bland. He tied the NFL single-season record for interception return touchdowns with his fourth of 2023 on Sunday in a 33-10 Week 11 road victory at the Carolina Panthers, and he leads the NFL passer rating against (15.9) while co-leading the league in interceptions (six). With Bland playing at an NFL Defensive Player of the Year-caliber level, 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year cornerback Stephon Gilmore opposite him and Parsons up front, Howell needs to be avoid making rushed decisions. 

He'll likely see a fair amount of zone coverage from defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's defense despite the Cowboys running man-to-man coverage on 37.4% of defensive plays, the second-highest rate in the NFL behind only the Cleveland Browns 44% rate. Howell is completing 61% of his passes against Cover-1, traditional man, coverage with six touchdown passes and no interceptions. Against Cover-3, traditional zone, coverage, he is completing 73% of his passes with only one touchdown and five interceptions.

When the Cowboys have the ball

The Commanders have the NFL's worst scoring defense, allowing 27.7 points per game. The Cowboys have the NFL's No. 2 scoring offense, averaging 30.2 points per game -- only 0.3 points per game away from tying the Miami Dolphins for the NFL's highest-scoring attack. In the Super Bowl era, since 1966, a top-two scoring offense has squared off against a bottom-two scoring defense 44 times at least 10 games into a season.

The top-two offense is 42-2 in those games, having won seven consecutive such matchups dating to 2012. The significant reason for the Cowboys offense scoring as much as they are is simple: Dak Prescott is playing like a legitimate NFL MVP candidate, ranking inside the top five in numerous key metrics while guiding Dallas to a 7-3 record so far this season.

Dak Prescott this season


Completion Pct



Pass Yards/Att



Pass TD






Passer Rating



Expected Points Added/Play0.152nd

"The way that I feel, the confidence I have in this group, myself, [the] zone, I guess you could call it., whatever it is, [I've] talked about it over and over," Prescott said Tuesday. "The coaches, the chemistry of this team, [is] by far the best I've ever felt, and it's not just me. It's a lot of the things around me. Being a leader, a lot of times you're trying to control a lot of those things, trying to make sure things around you are good, taking up in places this and that. That's the minimal of my job right now, is handling things outside my job, which obviously makes it easier for me. Moreso than ever."

Prescott should also have plenty of fun playing at home against an NFC East rival, especially the Commanders. He has won all five of his home start against Washington and has thrown 13 touchdowns and no interceptions in those meetings. Eight of those touchdowns have come in the last two such games, matchups the Cowboys won by a combined score of 103-30. Prescott has won 14 consecutive divisional home games overall, tied for the fourth-longest streak by a starting quarterback since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. 

Dak Prescott at home
Career vs. Washington




Team PPG


Team 30-Point Games


Comp Pct


Pass Yards/Att 




Passer Rating


Cowboys fourth-year, Pro Bowl wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is also playing the best ball of his career in 2023: his 1,013 receiving yards are tied with Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown for the second-most in the NFL. His 74 catches are the sixth-most. Lamb is on pace for 118 catches and 1,722 receiving yards this season, both of which would shatter Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin's single-season franchise records of 111 catches and 1,603 receiving yards he set in 1995, the Cowboys' last Super Bowl title-winning campaign. 

Prescott, Lamb and the rest of the Cowboys offense will likely see a strong amount of man coverage on Thursday since the Commanders play the ninth-most man coverage (29.3% of defensive plays) in the NFL. That benefits Dallas since Prescott's passer rating (118.0, fifth-most in the NFL), yards per pass attempt (8.8, fourth-most in the NFL) and completion percentage (69.2%, second-most in the NFL behind only Russell Wilson's 69.5% rate) all are top-five figures among NFL quarterbacks when facing man coverage. He has eight passing touchdowns, only two off the league lead, and one interception when throwing into man coverage. 


While McCarthy called statistics and analytics simply "bright lights," all of them are shining in favor of the Cowboys from location to all phases of football, even special teams. Dallas rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey set the record for the most made field goals in a row to start an NFL career at 21 and counting. Cowboys Pro Bowl punter Bryan Anger's 45 net yards per punt is the second-best in the NFL behind only Raiders Pro Bowl punter A.J. Cole

Meanwhile, Washington punter Tress Way's 42 net yards per punt ranks 15th in the league, and Commanders kicker Joey Slye's 80% field goal conversion rate (16-20) is tied for the seventh-worst in the NFL out of 32 kickers with at least 10 field goal attempts this season. The Cowboys have advantages everywhere, and the scoreboard will reflect that in Week 12. 

Score: Cowboys 41, Commanders 16