ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott and his right guard, Zack Martin, feasted on a turkey leg together on the sideline with six minutes left in the game after the star quarterback’s fourth touchdown pass.
Then, DaRon Bland really got the Thanksgiving party started for Dallas.
Bland set an NFL record with his fifth interception return for a touchdown this season, and the Cowboys extended their longest home winning streak in 42 years to 13 by pulling away for a 45-10 victory over the Washington Commanders on Thursday.
Dallas’ lead going into the fourth quarter was less than two touchdowns for the first time in five home games this season, but the Cowboys (8-3) ended up tying a 55-year-old franchise record with a seventh victory by at least 20 points.
The outcome was already settled when Bland’s fifth pick-6 punctuated a 25-point fourth quarter — and interrupted Prescott’s sideline feast.
“Didn’t see him initially pick it, but I just heard the crowd erupt, looked up and saw 26 had the ball in his hands,” Prescott said. “At that point, I just sprinted to the sideline to get a good view.”
A Dallas defense that gave up more than 200 yards for the first time in three games stiffened at key points in the second half, stopping Washington on fourth down three times.
Sam Howell threw for 300 yards and had a rushing touchdown, but was sacked at his 24-yard line on fourth down early in the fourth quarter, setting up CeeDee Lamb’s touchdown and 2-point conversion catches for a 21-point Dallas lead.
The Commanders (4-8) lost for the eighth time in 10 games since a 2-0 start and dropped to 2-9 as the most common Thanksgiving opponent for their NFC East rivals.
“We just got beat by a lot of points on Thanksgiving,” receiver Terry McLaurin said. “The game was within reach. And we just didn’t make the necessary plays to kind of put the ball in the end zone and do our part. So that’s never a good feeling.”
Prescott threw for 331 yards in his fifth consecutive game with at least two TD passes, one shy of his career best. Rico Dowdle, Brandin Cooks and KaVontae Turpin had the other scoring grabs.
The 5-foot-7 Turpin jumped into an oversized Salvation Army kettle beyond the end zone — a move made famous by Ezekiel Elliott years ago — after his 34-yard score.
Lamb had already spiked a ball into one after a 2-point catch that was initially called out of bounds in the back of the end zone before getting overturned on review.
All of which paled compared to the frenzy over Bland breaking a tie with three players for his record, secured when he made Howell, McLaurin and running back Brian Robinson miss on tackles inside the 20.
Bland’s teammates lifted him into one of the kettles, and coach Mike McCarthy was appreciative of the officials working with him to “get control of it,” which included Dallas using a timeout.
“That’s a big moment. Let’s be honest. The sideline erupted,” McCarthy said. “It’s good to celebrate and you need to. You need to smell the roses when you walk through the garden, as our guys did today. Because when you’re on the other side, it’s hard.”
The Cowboys were the first team since the 1990 Miami Dolphins to go 10 games into the season without allowing a 100-yard rusher, 100-yard receiver and 300-yard passer.
Howell and receiver Curtis Samuel (nine catches for 100 yards) ended that run, but the Cowboys won the turnover battle again (1-0) to go with the trio of fourth-down stops.
Prescott tied Tony Romo’s team record with his 10th game of at least four touchdown passes. Three have come in the past five games, a stretch that includes 17 TD tosses and just two interceptions.
Dallas is now within five games of the 18-game winning streak at old Texas Stadium from 1979-81, when the Cowboys were in middle of an NFL-record run of 20 consecutive winning seasons.
Dallas kicker Brandon Aubrey missed an extra point for the second consecutive game. The miss in the 33-10 victory over Carolina ended a streak of 49 made field goals and PATs since Aubrey missed his first-ever kick on an extra point against the New York Giants in the opener.
The 28-year-old rookie still has his NFL-record run of 22 consecutive made field goals to start a career after hitting a 52-yarder.
Commanders RB Brian Robinson Jr. was evaluated for a concussion in the first half and cleared. … Dallas S Jayron Kearse was inactive with a back issue after showing up on the injury report during the short week.
Commanders: Miami at home Dec. 3, the only game between now and Dec. 17. The bye comes after the Dolphins game.
Cowboys: Seattle next Thursday in the second of three consecutive home games.
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