Trick TD sparks Bills in 26-15 Thanksgiving win over Cowboys
By Schuyler Dixon
AP Pro Football Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — John Brown became the first Buffalo receiver to throw a touchdown pass and the Bills went on to beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-15 on Thursday.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen ran for a touchdown and threw a TD pass to Cole Beasley, who had 110 yards receiving in his first game against his former team. The Bills (9-3) got their first Thanksgiving win since 1975 in their first appearance on the holiday in 25 years.
The Cowboys (6-6) stumbled after scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, giving Philadelphia a chance to rejoin them atop the NFC East after their fourth double-digit loss in the past six Thanksgiving games.
A lackluster showing for Dallas’ sixth loss in nine games came four days after owner Jerry Jones blasted the coaching staff following a loss to New England from a team that entered the season with lofty expectations.
Allen was 19 of 24 for 231 yards and a career-best 120.7 passer rating as Bills won their third straight game and solidified their hold on an AFC wild-card spot.
The second-year quarterback found the ball at the bottom of a pile after fumbling a snap on fourth-and-1, quickly reached the ball over the first down spot and then stumbled forward 3 yards to the Dallas 28.
On the next play, Brown took a pitch on a double reverse and lofted the ball to wide-open running back Devin Singletary for Buffalo’s first lead at 13-7 in the second quarter.
The Cowboys couldn’t blame a sputtering offense on the conditions after the windy and rainy loss to the Patriots. Dak Prescott threw an interception, lost one fumble and had another on fourth down as Dallas was outscored 26-0 over a 50-minute stretch.
Ezekiel Elliott had 54 yards rushing and another 20 receiving in the first nine minutes, but wasn’t much of a factor the rest of the way. He finished with 71 yards rushing and 66 receiving.
Singletary became the latest back to have a splashier day than the two-time rushing champion, rushing for 63 yards with 38 more receiving. The 28-yard score was the easiest play he had all day, waiting for Brown’s throw to come down and waltzing into the end zone.
Most of the Buffalo joy was saved for Beasley, who had several momentum-changing plays along with his 25-yard touchdown in his first 100-yard game with the Bills and third of his career. The diminutive receiver who grew up in the Dallas area and played at SMU spent his first seven seasons with the Cowboys.
A week after getting criticized for taking a field goal down seven late against New England, embattled Cowboys coach Jason Garrett went for it on fourth down from the Buffalo 6 late in the third quarter. But Prescott’s pass to Elliott in the flat wasn’t close, skipping in front of the running back.
Settling for field goals didn’t help the Cowboys much either. Brett Maher had a 36-yard miss partially blocked by Star Lotulelei on the final of the first half and was wide right from 47 in the third quarter.
Dallas left guard Connor Williams injured a knee and tried to return before being ruled out in the second half. He was just a few weeks removed from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Brown became the first non-quarterback to throw a TD pass for Buffalo since Fred Jackson 10 years ago. Allen set a franchise record by accounting for at least two touchdowns in eight consecutive games.
Prescott was 32 of 49 for 355 yards and two touchdowns. The first was to Jason Witten, who has the most yards receiving on Thanksgiving with 895 after catching six passes for 42 yards.
Bills: Home against Baltimore on Dec. 8.
Cowboys: At Chicago next Thursday.