The Oakland Raiders are making a habit of getting out to early leads only to blow them and takes losses. Oakland has given away early leads by at least a touchdown to the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants and now the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The team closes out their games with the NFC East with an 0-4 record. The Raiders fall to 4-8 on the season and obliterate any chance of postseason play. Dallas takes over the lead in their division with the win and improve to 7-5.
Like so many games this season, the Raiders came out ready to play. On the opening kickoff, Terrence Williams had the ball knocked out by Kevin Burnett. Greg Jenkins picked it up for the Raiders and took it back 23 yards for a touchdowns and a 7-0 lead. The Raiders would return the favor to the Cowboys when quarterback Matt McGloin and center Stefen Wisniewski botched the snap resulting in a fumble recovered by Dallas at the two yard line. On the next play DeMarco Murray ran in the touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Oakland responded with a 12 play, 80 yard scoring drive. McGloin was in rhythm especially finding wide receiver Andre Holmes against his former team. Holmes broke out with seven catches for 136 yards. On the drive, McGloin and Holmes connected three times including a 16 yard play that took the Raiders down to the one yard line of Dallas. Running back Rashad Jennings took it from there, powering in for the one yard touchdown.
The Raiders defense forced Dallas into a three and out punt on the next series. Oakland took over and were on the move again. They drove 50 yards this time with a heavy dose of Jennings. He finished off another drive with a one yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 21-7 lead. Even with McFadden back, Jennings carried the workload with 17 carries for 35 yards and the two scores, but left the game with a concussion. McFadden rushed five times. The Raiders only mustered 50 yards on the ground in the game.
Dallas wasted no time cutting into that lead. On their next possession, quarterback Tony Romo spread the ball around and took the Cowboys 70 yards in less than two minutes. Murray punctuated the drive with a four yard touchdown run, his second of the day, pulling the Cowboys to 21-14, 10 second before the half.
On their first possession of the third quarter, Dallas tied the game. Running back Lance Dunbar broke a 45 yard run through the middle to put Dallas in business. The Raiders run defense had been so good all season, but Dallas racked up 144 yards in the game. Oakland missed too many tackles, allowing both Dunbar and Murray to get crucial extra yards. Romo finished off the scoring drive to Dez Bryant taking advantage of one on one coverage from 4 yards out. That tied the game at 21-21.
The Raiders went three and out on their next possession, giving the Dallas offense the ball back. The Cowboys took advantage driving 62 yards for another touchdown. Murray tallied his third touchdown of the day from seven yard out for 21 unanswered points and their first lead 28-21.
McGloin lead the Raiders down the field in the fourth quarter looking to tie the game. However, he was intercepted by Brandon Carr in the endzone. The Raiders inexplicably called the play that went to wide receiver Jacoby Ford. Both Rod Streater and Andre Holmes played very well and have height advantages over defenders. Ford has been a non-factor almost all of the season. McGloin finished 18-30 for 255 yards, zero touchdowns and the crucial interception.
The Cowboys turned the interception into a long, time consuming drive all the way down to the Raiders one yard line. They burned more than six and a half minutes off the clock and Dan Bailey nailed the 19 yard field goal putting Dallas up 31-21 and ending any chance of the Raiders leaving with a win. Oakland added a Sebastian Janikowksi field goal from 45 yards, but the onside kick attempt was easily recovered by Dallas, ending the game 31-24.
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