The Dallas Cowboys cooked the Oakland Raiders’ turkey 31-24 in a game that the Dallas Cowboys had to rally from 14 points down.
The 45th Thanksgiving Classic in Dallas got off to an inauspicious start when rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams, filling in for the injured return special Dwayne Harris, fumbled the opening kickoff. Oakland wide receiver Greg Jenkins recovered the ball and scored a touchdown. It was 7-0 Raiders before either team could run a play from scrimmage.
Dallas immediately went three-and-out. They traded possessions with the Raiders until the Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin fumbled a snap exchange and gave the ball to the Cowboys at the Oakland 2 yard line. DeMarco Murray marched into the end zone to tie the ballgame with 4 seconds left in the first quarter.
Oakland mounted an 11-play, 79-yard drive that featured former Cowboys wide receiver Andre Holmes catches two balls for 35 yards. He set up Rashad Jennings for a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 Raiders.
The Cowboys went three-and-out, giving Oakland the ball back. Oakland extended their lead to 21-7 with a 12-play, 50-yard drive that culminated again with a 1-yard Rashad Jennings touchdown run.
The Thanksgiving hosts chiseled into the road team’s lead when DeMarco Murray capped off an 8-play, 73-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run on a draw play. The Cowboys trailed by seven points at halftime.
Coming out of the break, Andre Holmes caught another 20-yard pass, but the Raiders punted the ball back to Dallas, who went on a strong 10-play, 87-yard drive which ended with Tony Romo throwing a jump ball to Dez Bryant. The game was tied at 21.
After that, Dallas ran away with the game. DeMarco Murray scored a 7-yard touchdown run and Dan Bailey added a 19-yard field goal to make it 31-21—24 unanswered points—before the Raiders’ kicker, Sebastian Janikowski, nailed a 45-yard field goal as part of Oakland’s desperate attempt to tie the game having no timeouts to make it 31-24, the game’s final score.
Tony Romo went 23/32 for 225 yards and 1 touchdown. His counterpart, Matt McGloin, went 18/30 for 255 yards and an interception to Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr.
The Dallas Cowboys added 144 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 attempts. DeMarco Murray, Phil Simms’ All-Iron player of the game, had 63 yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 carries. Lance Dunbar had a career game with 12 carries for 82 yards before leaving the game with a knee sprain.
The game’s leading receiver was Raiders receiver Andre Holmes, who had 7 catches for 136 yards. Oakland receiver Rod Streater had 3 catches for 57 yards. Dez Bryant led Dallas receivers with 7 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. He also had a fumble that left tackle Tyron Smith decidedly fell upon to save the possession in the third quarter. Jason Witten had 5 catches for 53 yards, and DeMarco Murray had 5 catches for 39 yards. He had 102 scrimmage yards, and Dallas is now 11-0 when Murray has 100 or more scrimmage yards.
Terrance Williams made up for his fumble with 3 catches for 23 yards, and Cole Beasley added 3 catches of his own for 19 yards. Miles Austin was sighted, catching a slant for 18 yards.
Raiders middle linebacker Nick Roach sacked Romo twice, including a forced fumble that Romo quickly fell upon. Dallas recorded no sacks on defense.
At a commanding 7-5, the Dallas Cowboys need to win out their final four games, ending with the Philadelphia Eagles in AT&T Stadium. For now, the Cowboys have 11 days off. Their next match is December 9th on Monday night in Chicago to face a team that could have starting quarterback Jay Cutler return to the lineup.