ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott celebrated until the end with more than 90,000 fans in his home stadium for a third consecutive week — and third straight win for the rolling Dallas Cowboys.
This one was maybe a little different.
Prescott threw for three touchdowns the day before the one-year anniversary of his severe ankle injury in the same stadium against the same opponent, and the Cowboys beat the New York Giants 44-20 on Sunday.
Daniel Jones was the starting quarterback going off on a cart this time, after a concussion while trying to score running wide from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. The injury-plagued Giants had already lost running back Saquon Barkley to an ankle injury.
Prescott walked off the field after bouncing back from two early mistakes that led to turnovers a year after he was driven away in tears with the pandemic-limited crowd knowing his season was over because of the gruesome compound fracture of his right ankle.
“When I saw the cart, it definitely came into my head, ‘Get that thing out of here,’” Prescott said. “Hope he’s OK, hope Saquon, hope all of those guys. We know this game can take a toll on your body. It was about turning the page and staying focused on what my job is.”
After a woozy Jones was taken off, New York (1-4) pulled even at 10-all on backup Mike Glennon’s first snap of the season, a fourth-down handoff to Barkley’s replacement Devontae Booker from the 1.
Glennon and the Giants couldn’t keep it up 364 days after then-Dallas backup Andy Dalton led a comeback to a 37-34 victory after Prescott’s injury at the home of the Cowboys (4-1), who have four straight wins since an opening loss to Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.
Prescott had scoring tosses of 49 yards to CeeDee Lamb and 24 yards to Amari Cooper before star running back Ezekiel Elliott caught a pass in the flat and high-stepped into the end zone for a 4-yard score shortly after missing two plays to get his back checked.
Prescott finished 22 of 32 for 302 yards to boost his passer rating to 116.9 despite an interception when linebacker Lorenzo Carter tipped a fourth-down pass and caught it and a botched snap for a lost fumble when the Cowboys were in scoring range early.
“He’s so dang focused in everything he does,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “His disposition never changes, his attitude, his energy. I thought he played very well, particularly after those two giveaways.”
Jones was injured when he was tackled just shy of the goal line by rookie Cowboys linebacker Jabril Cox on a bootleg from the 1. Jones struggled to stay upright, twice putting his hands on his knees before stumbling badly as Dallas’ Jayron Kearse and others rushed to help.
Barkley had two carries for 9 yards when he stepped on Dallas cornerback Jourdan Lewis’ foot on a play away from the ball. TV footage showed significant swelling on the outside of his left ankle.
“Our guys are going to keep playing, that’s not going to be a question,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “In terms of next man up mentality, there were a lot of good examples today on guys stepping up, playing different roles and making plays.”
Glennon was 16 of 25 for 196 yards with a late 3-yard touchdown to Booker and two interceptions. The first was Trevon Diggs’ NFL-leading sixth, and the second was returned 45 yards for a score by Anthony Brown in the final two minutes.
Diggs has at least one interception in all five games. The only other Dallas player to do that was Don Bishop in 1961.
“I think it’s about time quarterbacks stop throwing his way,” Elliott said.
ROLLING RUN GAME
Elliott finished with more than 100 yards in consecutive games for the first time since three straight in 2019, finishing with 110 yards on 21 carries, the final one a punctuating 13-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys had 515 yards total offense, including 201 on the ground — exactly the average from the previous three weeks after getting just 60 against the Buccaneers.
Giants rookie receiver Kadarius Toney, who had season highs of 10 catches for 189 yards, was ejected for throwing a punch at Dallas safety Damontae Kazee after his last reception. Toney threw the punch after Kazee slung him to the ground at the end of a 13-yard play. Toney and Kazee were given offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Giants LT Andrew Thomas was active but didn’t start because of a foot injury. Nate Solder moved from RT to LT, and Matt Peart took Solder’s spot. Solder was the starting LT before he opted out of the pandemic-altered 2020 season. ... Already without WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton because of hamstring injuries, New York lost WR Kenny Golladay to a knee injury. CB Rodarius Williams also didn’t return because of a knee injury.
Giants: The Los Angeles Rams visit next Sunday.
Cowboys: The added game in the first 17-game season is next Sunday at New England.