Ron Rivera might 'smash pumpkins' to jumpstart Washington offense vs. Cowboys

Mike McCarthy stole Gallagher's bit, smashing watermelons, to get the Dallas Cowboys out of their funk ahead of last week's win over the Minnesota Vikings.

In advance of Thursday's Thanksgiving showdown with those Cowboys, Washington coach Ron Rivera quipped that he might have to copy the bit -- albeit with a different type of fruit -- to jumpstart his offense early in the game.

Washington has repeatedly fallen behind, generating just 33 first-quarter points and zero on the team's opening drives.

"I can bring in a sledgehammer and smash pumpkins," Rivera quipped, via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. "But to be honest with you guys, it's neither here nor there. A start is a start. Sometimes you finish them off and sometimes you don't. We'll see what happens. We work on things, we work on our scripts, we work on our plays and then we come out in the second half and we call the same play, we call the same defenses and we play better. We'll see what happens come Thursday."

McCarthy's bit has inspired positive vibes in Dallas, where only negative thoughts reverberated since Dak Prescott's season-ending injury.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Wednesday that the light-hearted move energized his team.

"Our team was inspired," Jones said. "I don't know if it was the watermelons, but they were inspired. If it takes knocking the water out of a watermelon before every game, I'll line up for that."

Whether it's pumpkins or watermelons being destroyed, one of these two clubs will be leading the NFC East by Thanksgiving night. Washington and Dallas are each 0.5 games behind the Eagles for the division lead. The winner leapfrogs to the front for at least a few days.

Washington has not won NFC East since 2015. Dallas last won the division in 2018.

Rivera's club won the first division matchup in Week 7. With Kyle Allen under center, Washington earned 397 yards, with Antonio Gibson leading the way with 128 rush yards and a TD, in a 25-3 victory. Andy Dalton left that game with a concussion after a brutal illegal hit by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic. Dallas trailed 22-3 when Dalton was knocked out.

Thanksgiving afternoon will feature Alex Smith under center for Washington against Dalton and a Cowboys team coming off its first win in more than a month.

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