Thanksgiving means family, friends and a feast of turkey, stuffing, gravy and . . . football.
The Washington Redskins have a big game against their archrivals, the Dallas Cowboys, this Turkey Day. The Cowboys are the surprise team of the National Football League (NFL). Last year, Dallas struggled to a 4-12 record (four wins, 12 losses) after its star quarterback, Tony Romo, was injured and missed most of the season.
The Cowboys got off to a bad start this season when Romo broke a bone in his back during a preseason game. But after an opening-game loss, the Cowboys have won nine in a row and now lead the NFL with a record of 9-1.
One key to the Cowboys’ success is that rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has stepped in for Romo and played great. Prescott was not expected to be a big star. The Cowboys selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. That means NFL teams picked 134 players before the Cowboys chose Prescott.
So far this season, Prescott is rated the third-best quarterback in the NFL. He has been so good that Romo, who has recovered from his injury, can’t get his old job back.
Romo has been a good teammate — and a good example to kids — about being left on the bench. He made it clear he would love to be playing, but he said Prescott has “earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say, he has earned that right.”
Romo added: “I think Dak knows that I have his back, and I think I know that he has mine. Ultimately, it’s about the team.”
While Prescott is excelling as a passer, another rookie is leading the Cowboys offense on the ground. Dallas picked Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round of the 2016 draft. Elliott has a rare combination of power and speed. He is leading the NFL in rushing, with 1,102 yards this season
But the big secret of the Cowboys’ surge is a group of players whom few fans notice. Dallas has a fantastic offensive line. They give Prescott time to throw and Elliott space to run.
Three members of that unit — tackle Tyron Smith, guard Zack Martin and center Travis Frederick — were first-round draft picks in recent years. Add two more linemen — La’el Collins and Doug Free — who play like first-rounders, and the Cowboys can move the ball against even the toughest defenses.
The Cowboys are red-hot, and the Redskins are playing well. So you and your family may want to eat early to watch their 4:30 p.m. game.
It should be a good one.
Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 21 sports books for kids. His latest football book is called “Double Reverse.”