DALLAS, Sporting Alert – The red-hot Dallas Cowboys will feature in one of three NFL games on Thanksgiving Day as Week 12 begins this coming Thursday.
COWBOYS ROLLING – Live Stats, GameCast
Last year Dallas struggled with injuries and won just four games, but this season the Cowboys are rolling.
Led by two rookies — Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott — the Cowboys (9-1) are currently on a nine-game winning streak and hold the best record in the NFL this season.
On Thanksgiving Day, Prescott and Co. will host Washington at the AT&T Stadium in a NFC East Division matchup in Arlington.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Cowboys have a 73.3 percent chance to beat the Redskins and improved to 10-1.
The two sides last met in Week 2 and Dallas picked up a 27-23 victory, with Prescott throwing for 292 yards in the win.
Kirk Cousins was also impressive in that game for the Redskins after throwing for 364 yards and the touchdown in the defeat.
In Early team news, Dallas reports that running back Darren McFadden, who broke his elbow in the spring, was finally in uniform again for Monday’s practice.
However, safety Barry Church will not be available for the fourth straight Week because of a forearm injury.
Cornerback Morris Claiborne (sports hernia), who also sat out three straight, misses out as well.
The Redskins, meanwhile, are undefeated in the last three outings and are coming off an impressive 42-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Sunday Night Football.
Cousins will be heading to Arlington, Texas, full of confidence after throwing for 375 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s dominating win against the Packers.
At the same time, though, the 28-year-old isn’t getting too carried away.
“We’re feeling good, but at the same time it’s a short week and we’re playing one of the best teams in the NFL on Thursday,” he said.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden says his quarterback is playing at “an elite level right now.”
He added: “We like where he is and we like where he’s going.”
Washington is 6-3 on the season.
Both teams are 2-1 in division play.
LIONS AND VIKINGS MEET AGAIN – Live Stats, GameCast
Also on the Thanksgiving Day schedule are the battles between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions in the NFC North and the Indianapolis Colts against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A little over two weeks after their thrilling overtime encounter in Minnesota, the Vikings (6-4) and the Lions (6-4) will meet again in Detroit with both teams targeting the lead in the NFC North.
The Lions topped the Vikings 22-19 OT in the last meeting and if they duplicate that result on Thanksgiving Day, it will put them in good playoff standing.
They will have to do it against the odds, though, as ESPN’s Football Power Index is giving Minnesota a 57.2 percent chance to beat Detroit, which has a 42.5 percent possibility.
STEELERS READY TO GO; LUCK OUT – Live Stats, GameCast
In the third Thanksgiving Day matchup, the Colts take a two-game winning streak into their home clash against the Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The big news, though, ahead of the contest is Indianapolis will be without starting quarterback Andrew Luck for the game.
Luck remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol after a concussion against the Tennessee Titans over the weekend.
The short week has not helped in the push for a speedy recovery, so the Colts (5-5) will likely have to turn to Scott Tolzien to lead the offense.
Tolzien has played in just six games in his career, which all came in a Green Bay Packers uniform.
The Steelers are also 5-5 on the season, but have won just once in the last five outings after struggling to get going on offense.
In the last meeting between the two teams last December, Ben Roethlisberger passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns in a dominant 45-10 win for the Steelers.
In 2014, Roethlisberger set franchise records with 522 yards passing and six touchdowns – giving him 886 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions in the last two games against Indianapolis.
It’s no wonder he’s in a hurry to get the show on the road again on Thanksgiving Day.
NFL Thanksgiving Day Schedule
Thursday, November 24
Minnesota Colts at Detroit Lions 12:30 PM CBS Ford Field
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys 4:30 PM FOX AT&T Stadium
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts 8:30 PM NBC Lucas Oil Stadium