Under the bright lights of AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day, the roar of an electrified crowd ushered in a momentous occasion for the Dallas Cowboys, as their own DaRon Bland vaulted into the annals of NFL history. Bland stunned onlookers as he seized his fifth interception return for a touchdown this season—a new league record—cementing his name alongside the game’s greatest. Amidst the celebration, Dak Prescott’s arm proved unrelenting, throwing for four touchdowns to spearhead a dominant 45-10 triumph over the hapless Washington Commanders.
The Cowboys, basking in the glory of an 8-3 record, now stand as sentinels over a fortress not breached in 13 consecutive home games—a feat not matched since the team’s golden days from 1979-81. But the Thanksgiving faceoff offered an unexpected tension as Dallas led by a margin less than two touchdowns into the final quarter for the first time in this season’s home games. Despite the earlier struggle, they matched a storied 55-year-old franchise record with their seventh victory margin exceeding 20 points this season.
Dallas’s defense, a unit recently impervious to yielding ground, found themselves bending under the pressure of over 200 yards of offense—but never broke. The second half saw them tighten their grip, halting the Commanders thrice on fourth down, and definitively swinging momentum back in favor of the star-clad warriors.
For the Commanders’ fresh-faced Sam Howell, the day was a mix of highs and disastrous lows. Howell marshaled 300 yards through the air and dashed for a touchdown, but his resolve crumbled under the weight of a critical sack in his own territory early in the fourth quarter. This lapse set the stage for a brilliant connection between Prescott and CeeDee Lamb, culminating in a touchdown and a 2-point conversion that ballooned the Cowboys’ lead to an unassailable 21 points.
The losses have piled up for Washington, plummeting from a hopeful 2-0 start to a 4-8 record, characterized by eight defeats in their last ten outings. The Thanksgiving showdown marked yet another chapter in their storied rivalry with Dallas, where they found themselves the most regular holiday opponent, yet often on the losing end.
Prescott, the maestro of the day’s symphony, orchestrated a masterful performance with 331 yards and maintained his streak of consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes, now only one shy of his career best. Accompanying him in the scoring spree were Rico Dowdle, Brandin Cooks, and KaVontae Turpin, each snatching a piece of the glory with their own touchdown receptions.
The crescendo of the game arrived when Bland, a sentry on the gridiron, anticipated Howell’s pass bound for Jahan Dotson. With eagle-like swiftness, Bland intercepted the ball and blazed a trail down the Dallas sideline. Washington’s quarterback, in a desperate pursuit, could not deter the inevitable as Bland escaped, cut back, and outmaneuvered Terry McLaurin and Brian Robinson Jr., finally gliding past the 10-yard line and across the goal-line to a deafening cheer.
Bland’s extraordinary feat hoisted him into the company of legends—Philadelphia’s Eric Allen (1993), Kansas City’s Jim Kearney (1972), and Houston’s Ken Houston (1971)—all sharing the previous record that now Bland transcends as the sole titlebearer. In a game illuminated by star performances, it was DaRon Bland’s lights-out play that shone brightest, etching this Thanksgiving day in Dallas Cowboys lore.