By all football standards, the Dallas Cowboys should win this game today against the Oakland Raiders, but this is why they play the games.
After scoring just one touchdown in almost two games, the Cowboys sputtering offense and the coach behind it, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, had just four days to prepare for this match up.
Should we expect the same erratic play calling as we watch a defense that is surely becoming one of the better ones in the league?
The Raiders have beaten the Cowboys the last three contests, with the last one in 2005. The Raiders with Randy Moss won 19-13.
Well, the Raiders don’t have a Randy Moss anymore. They played a Cowboys team of Drew Bledsoe, Jason Witten, Julius Jones and Terry Glenn.
The Cowboys offense should get a boost today with only four days rest. I would expect Garrett to open up the play book and test all aspects of his offense. Try and make Martellus Bennett a weapon again. Run on first and second downs more than you pass.
Injuries: Jason Witten is probable with a bad foot. Tony Romo will play despite a bad back.
The Cowboys have won the last four Thanksgiving games. Although the Raiders are coming off their biggest win of the season over the Bengals, it is hard to fathom Bruce Gradkowski leading the Raiders to a win.
Greg Ellis is playing his former team for the first time. He leaders the Raiders with five sacks, but he still battles injuries as he did in Dallas. He will be pumped up to play.
Doug Free is replacing tackle Marc Colombo. Watch his performance because he will likely hold the spot for the rest of the season.
The Raiders are awful at converting third downs and they score just 11 points a game. Although the rushing game has had spurts of success, the passing game is not a sight worth seeing, averaging 125 yards a game in the air. As a comparison, the Cowboys double that with 250 yards passing a game.
A win and the Cowboys retain first place in the NFC East, with the Giants playing later tonight against the falling Denver Broncos.
I expect the Cowboys will man-handle these Raiders tonight and win by at least two touchdowns.
Topics: Bruce Gradkowski, Cowboys, Cowboys Raiders Preview, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Doug Free, Greg Ellis, Jason Garrett, Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett, New York Giants, NFL, Raiders, Tony Romo