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Cowboys vs. Washington live scores, highlights, and more

Kirk Cousins is playing some of the best football of his career. Is that enough to beat the red-hot Cowboys?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Score updates

Final score: Cowboys 31, Washington 26

Third quarter: Cowboys 17, Washington 6

Halftime: Cowboys 17, Washington 6

First quarter: Cowboys 7, Washington 0

Highlights

The sun was blinding Kirk Cousins and the rest of his team.

Washington tight end Jordan Reed left in the first half with a shoulder injury, but he returned after halftime. He then made a dazzling one-handed grab to set up a touchdown.

Dez Bryant and Josh Norman were literally butting heads. Happy Thanksgiving!

DeSean Jackson put a nasty stutter step move on a poor rookie, and then hauled in a 67-yard touchdown.

After the game, Dak and Zeke kept having fun, just as they’ve done all season.

Before the game

It’s Thanksgiving, and that means it’s time to watch the Cowboys. Often while digesting copious amounts of turkey, stuffing, and whatever flavor-profile mashed potato your family prefers.

This yeah, the NFL has a big-time matchup in store for AT&T Stadium. 9-1 Dallas will host 6-3-1 Washington in a showdown between probable playoff teams. The Cowboys have been the league’s hottest commodity after winning nine straight games behind the rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Washington, on the other hand, is 6-1-1 after an 0-2 start thanks to the improved play of Kirk Cousins.

Cousins absolutely roasted the Packers on Sunday night, throwing for 375 yards and three touchdowns en route to a near-perfect passer rating. He’s developed into one of the league’s top 10 quarterbacks in his fifth year as a professional, and is in line for a major long-term contract after making $19.9 million under the franchise tag this season.

But Cousins hasn’t been the only factor behind Washington’s revival. The team has used a platoon of overlooked tailback to create a potent running attack to balance out this offense. Matt Jones, “Fat” Rob Kelley, and Chris Thompson have all taken turns leading a unit that’s averaged 4.8 yards per carry this fall.

Still, Washington has lagged far behind a Dallas team intent on lapping the rest of the NFL. After losing their first game of the season, the Cowboys have ascended to the top of the league’s standings. And while Washington has been dangerous on offense in 2016, Dallas’ rookies have been even more dynamic.

Prescott and Elliott have developed into bona-fide MVP candidates in their first season as professionals. Elliott, who surpassed Tony Dorsett’s 39-year franchise rookie rushing record in Week 11, needed only nine games to become the front-runner for the league’s top award. Prescott, his quarterback, was only four spots behind him with the fifth-best odds.

They combined with Dez Bryant to give the Cowboys a big three that invokes images of the Aikman-Smith-Irvin triumvirate that revitalized the franchise in the 1990s. The three have powered an offense that’s gained more than 413 yards per game this season — the fourth-best mark in the league. With two rookies playing at top-five levels at their respective positions, this kind of success could last for a very long time.

Pregame Reading

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott made history in last week’s win over the Ravens (Blogging the Boys)

Oh, so we’re calling Kirk Cousins the “Magic Man” now? (Hogs Haven)

The Cowboys got pasted last year on Thanksgiving. Now they’re the best team in the NFL. (SB Nation)

No one expected the Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving to become an annual tradition (SB Nation)