Dallas 24, Oakland 7: Weapons Resurface
The Cowboys seriously lacked firepower during the last two weeks in games
where they scored only seven points in consecutive games. This was nothing a
game against the Raiders couldn’t help.
Consider these performances:
Past two games: 4 att., 14 yards
vs. Oakland: 3 att., 67 yards, including a 66-yard run out of the Razorback
Past two games: 13 att., 55 yards, with a long run of 9 yards.
vs. Oakland: 7 att., 68 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run.
Past two games: 10 rec., 90 yards
vs. Oakland: 5 rec., 107 yards
Past two games: 8 rec., 67 yards
vs. Oakland: 7 rec., 145 yards, 1 TD
Past two games: 409 passing yards, 2 TD, 74.6 QB rating
vs. Oakland: 309 passing yards, 2 TD, 121.2 QB rating
What has been consistent during the past three games has been the Dallas
defense. The Cowboys gave up only one touchdown against the Raiders and held an
opponent to fewer than 10 points for the third time this season.
During the week that Greg Ellis returned to Dallas, it was his replacement in
the Dallas lineup that had one of the biggest games. Anthony Spencer was a
monster on Thanksgiving, recording two sacks and eight total tackles.
The Cowboys had a few miscues against Oakland, but thanks to the defense,
those miscues became largely irrelevant.
On the second offensive play for the Cowboys, Romo hit Austin on a crossing
route that gained 49 yards to the Oakland 27. However, right tackle Doug Free
committed a penalty, followed by another penalty by Kyle Kosier. The drive
stalled, and the Cowboys were backed up so far they had to punt.
Two drives later, Tashard Choice took a snap out of the Razorback and took
off. He probably should have had a touchdown but was run down after a 66-yard
gain. Next play: Holding on Deon Anderson. Dallas had to settle for a field
In the second quarter, Romo hit Marion Barber in the right flat, and Barber
raced 42 yards up the sideline. Next play: False start on Flozell Adams.
Despite those plays, the Cowboys wrestled control of the game in the second
quarter. Leading 3-0 with 13:09 left in the second quarter, Dallas took the ball
at its own 11. Two passes to Miles Austin moved the ball to the Oakland 46. Austin’s first reception on the drive was big, as it came on a 3rd-and-11 play from the Dallas 10. He stretched at the end of the play to give Dallas a first down. Two plays later, he caught a pass on a crossing route and gained 27 yards. Felix Jones then found a hole up the middle and raced all the way for a touchdown. It was Jones’ first touchdown since the Cowboys’ week 2 loss to the New York Giants.
Late in the first half, Dallas moved the ball into Oakland territory. Romo
hit Austin over the middle, and it appeared that when the defender tackled
Austin that Austin’s knee never hit the ground. A review showed that Austin’s
ankle and lower leg did touch the ground, but the ruling did not end up
mattering. Romo hit Austin two plays later on a screen pass that Austin ran in
to give the Cowboys a 17-0 lead.
Oakland managed to cut the lead to 17-7 in the second half, but the defense
stepped up after the lone Raider touchdown. Meanwhile, the Dallas offense
effectively put the game away when Romo hit Roy Williams on a six-yard touchdown
early in the fourth.
Dallas piled up 494 total yards in offense, marking the team’s best offensive
output in terms of yardage all season. The last time the Cowboys gained more
yards was against St. Louis in 2007, when Dallas gained 502.
With the Giants’ loss to the Broncos on Thursday night, the Cowboys have a
two-game lead over New York. The Eagles can stay within a game of Dallas by
beating Washington on Sunday.