The Miami Dolphins feasted on Tuna, not turkey, on Thanksgiving Thursday in the United States.
Jay Fielder fired three touchdown passes to Chris Chambers and ran for another as the Dolphins pummelled Bill (Tuna) Parcells and the Dallas Cowboys, 40-21 before a crowd of 64,110 at Texas Stadium.
It marked Miami's highest offensive output in 26 games.
"We talked all week about how we needed this win," Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt said. "And they came out and made it happen."
"We had no chance at a win," admitted Parcells, head coach of the Cowboys.
"This team does not have the maturity for this kind of situation. We have young players who do not understand what's going on."
Both teams are now 8-4 on the season.
But the Dolphins are definitely the hotter of the two, having won three straight games and five of six on the road.
The Dolphins also overpowered the Cowboys defensively, forcing six turnovers.
"We're definitely happy with the win," said Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, who recovered a fumble for a TD.
"But we're not satisfied. We know we have to stay poised for the next four games."
Speaking of poise, Fiedler finished 16-of-20 for 239 yards and the three majors as the Dolphins improved to 4-1 on American Thanksgiving.
Ironically, their lone loss came at the hands of the Cowboys, 20-0 in 1999.
"We feel we're a different football team now than in years past," Taylor said. "We think that's going to lead to success in December."
Fiedler enjoyed an impressive opening half, going 14-of-17 with two TDs.
He dropped back to pass a mere three times in the second half, completing two.
"I just know I've had a good flow with our receivers the past few days," Fielder said following his first start since spraining his left knee on Oct. 19.
Chambers totalled 96 yards on five receptions, three for spectacular TDs.
Running back Ricky Williams rumbled for 104 yards on 31 carries to surpass 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
Williams has reached 1,000 yards four years running, the last two with the Dolphins.
Hall of Famer Larry Csonka is the only other Dolphin to do it more than once.
Moreover, Williams' third consecutive 100-yard outing gave him 15 with Miami, matching Csonka's franchise record.
Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter completed 24 of 40 pass attempts for 288 yards and two TDs with three interceptions.
He also scrambled for a team-high 42 yards.
"It just didn't seem like we were ready to play," Cowboys running back Richie Anderson, who rushed five times for 22 yards and his first TD since 1996.
"That surprised me. They played better than we did, more focused than we did and made more plays than we did."
Miami opened the scoring on Fielder's one-yard TD plunge in the sixth minute.
It remained 7-0 until placekicker Olindo Mare booted a 33-yard field goal 36 seconds into the second quarter.
Dallas drove right back though, marching 66 yards on nine plays, the last a four-yard TD run from Anderson at 5:41.
But less than two minutes later, Fielder combined with Chambers on a 39-yard TD to make it 17-3.
Anderson answered with a 27-yard TD catch with 2:44 left on the clock.
But Fielder capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a six-yard TD strike to Chambers as the Dolphins led 23-14 at halftime.
The Dolphins dominated the second half, outscoring the Cowboys 14-0.
First, Taylor returned a Carter fumble 34 yards for a TD just 1:43 into the third.
Then, Chambers hauled in his third TD pass, this one from 35 yards out, for a 37-14 advantage with 7:42 to go in the quarter.
Mare upped it to 40-17 with a 42-yard field goal 1:03 into the fourth.
Carter cut the deficit to 40-21 with an 18-yard TD toss to receiver Quincy Bryant with 12:22 remaining, but the Cowboys could get no closer after that.
Concluded Parcells: "We were just awful."
with files from CP Online