INSTANT ANALYSIS: Cowboys vs. Washington

Here's an instant analysis of the Cowboys' 38-14 win over Washington on Thursday at AT&T Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys still have hope they can make the playoffs. The odds are slim, but they play the New York Giants next week, and the Giants have been one of the league's worst teams. The Cowboys are back at .500, and a win next week will push them over .500 with just one game left in Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension.

TURNING POINT: The Cowboys drafted Ryan Switzer in the fourth round to give their punt and kickoff returns some juice. Well, he has hasn't provided much this season, but two weeks ago, he had a 63-yard kickoff return against Philadelphia. He made his biggest play of the game in the second quarter, when he took a punt 83 yards for a touchdown — the first of his career. The return gave Dallas a 17-0 lead, forcing Washington to give up running the ball.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Alfred Morris, playing against the team that cut him two seasons ago, had his best game in a Cowboys' jersey. He gained 127 yards on 27 carries and punished Washington in the second half. Morris had 38 yards in the first half, but with the Cowboys leading in the second half they leaned on their offensive line and wore down Washington's defense.

KEY STAT: DeMarcus Lawrence had two sacks, giving him 13.5 this season. His first-quarter sack ended a streak of 33 consecutive possessions without a sack for Dallas' defense.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will play the New York Giants, leading candidate for the NFL's most dysfunctional team this season, on Dec. 10. The Giants benched Eli Manning this week, and coach Ben McAdoo is expected to be fired at the end of the season. The Giants will go quietly into the night, but the Cowboys must nudge them.

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