4 major observations from Sam Howell's performance at the Cowboys in Week 12

How did QB1 fare on Thanksgiving afternoon?

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Howell's maturity

This was a different Sam Howell from the carefree gunslinger we're used to seeing. There was a more methodical approach schematically in pursuit of gaining yards, with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy opting to get the football out quickly and into the hands of his dynamic playmakers.

It was the correct approach considering how opportunistic the Dallas Cowboys defense has become even without stud cornerback Trevon Diggs. There were a few occasions when Howell aired it out downfield - especially chasing the game late on - but this conservative distribution is a sign of confidence that the signal-caller can follow a clear script and take what the defense gives him rather than force the issue constantly.

The growing maturity Howell continues to display under center couldn't be more encouraging. Tavita Pritchard - the progressive Washington Commanders' quarterbacks coach - also deserves a tremendous amount of credit for enhancing the player's footwork, ability to go through progressions quicker behind a suspect offensive line, and accepting that living to fight another day isn't the end of the world.

What makes Howell's growth in these areas even more encouraging is the fact he's got just 12 NFL starts under his belt so far. The best is yet to come, it's whether Josh Harris' ownership group holds the same belief that's the big question nobody knows the answer to right now.