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Bills secure winning season in victory over Cowboys

*The Buffalo Bills (9-3) secured their second winning season in three years in Thursday afternoon's 26-15 drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys (6-6). Here's what we learned from the Thanksgiving Day tilt. *

  1. This is it. This is the point in history in which we stop talking seriously about the 2019 Dallas Cowboys. Surprise: a team that hasn't been able to beat a single opponent with a record above .500 wasn't able to beat its Thanksgiving opponent that arrived with a record above .500. And not only did they not beat them, they watched their opponent coast to victory in the second half.

The Cowboys flirted with a win, scoring first before the Bills wrested momentum away from them before halftime. From there, they put the ball in the hands of Dak Prescott, who was forced to throw it 49 times, completing 32 of those attempts for 355 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, which is a stat line that's pretty appealing in a box score but not so much on the tape. The most glaring outcome: At the end of a 69-yard drive, the Cowboys took a shot at the end zone in a play that initially looked like it might be a touchdown. It was overturned, and on the ensuing play -- fourth-and-goal from the Buffalo 6 -- Prescott threw a swing pass to Ezekiel Elliott, who looked to have room to run into the end zone. The attempt went into the dirt.

That play was the 2019 Cowboys in a nutshell: Talented enough to get there, but not good enough to execute. Chalk up another loss to a team above .500.

  1. Thursday's result and the fashion in which it was reached brings Jason Garrett's status into serious question. An exasperated Jerry Jones was caught on camera at multiple moments in the second half as the Bills continued to widen the gap on the scoreboard and in the desire category, and he left his visible seat in the final minute as the Bills kneeled out the clock. Videos surfaced on Twitter shortly thereafter of Jones and his son, Stephen, walking with stern expressions into Dallas' locker room. Another video included the muffled sound of a player on a screaming tirade from behind the closed doors of the locker room.

Things aren't looking great in Dallas, and Garrett might not survive long enough to see how it ends. You'd never guess this team is still in first place in its (bad) division.

  1. OK, enough about the turmoil in Dallas. I'll be the first to admit that I never thought Josh Allen (and his early penchant for turnovers) would pan out in the NFL, but two seasons in, he's proving me and plenty of other doubters wrong.

Allen was excellent Thursday, leading the Bills offense on multiple scoring drives and doing it with his actions, not words. Allen's desire to win showed in a fumbled QB sneak that the QB recovered and then continued to drive his legs to fight through a defender for two yards and a first down. Allen ran in a touchdown on his own later in the game and finished with a sparkling line: 19-of-24 passing, 231 yards, one touchdown and a 120.7 passer rating.

Allen has evolved from a deep-ball chucker who was always good for a disastrous turnover or two per game to the quarterback evaluators imagined could be possible when drooling over his size and arm. He's extending plays with his feet, gradually becoming more accurate and doing so without a ton of weapons to speak of. We'll see where this road takes him, but right now, it's looking pretty good.

  1. This game was more of an illustration of how off track the Cowboys are, but a ton of credit is due to the Bills, who have bounced back from a disheartening loss to Cleveland in Week 10 to win three straight in impressive fashion. Of those wins, Thursday sent the loudest message: The Bills aren't star-studded, but they play a disciplined, passionate brand of football that travels well. It was clear, especially as the game wore on, that the Bills wanted the Thanksgiving win significantly more than the Cowboys.

At 9-3, they're continuing to simply do their jobs and out-will opponents. It doesn't matter to them that most people still aren't paying attention to them. Plus, they'll get a chance to prove themselves with games ahead against Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England and the New York Jets.

"We don't really play for the thoughts of others," Allen told CBS' Tracy Wolfson afterward.

  1. By the way, in case you haven't noticed, the Bills are strangely fun. The Bills scored on a double-reverse pass from John Brown to Devin Singletary, which was something we'd expect out of Philadelphia or Los Angeles or Kansas City, not Buffalo, but it worked! Star Lotulelei intercepted Prescott, gifting us a big-man highlight that was almost as good as a big-man touchdown. And best of all, former Cowboys slot man Cole Beasley, who walked to Buffalo in free agency, returned to have his best game since 2015, catching six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Yes, we got a Cole Beasleyrevenge game on Thanksgiving.

They aren't going to throw 35 points on the scoreboard every week, but they play winning football and have a wild card in Allen who's producing more wins than losses. As we near December, that's enough to tune in to watch these Bills.

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