It took a Christmas miracle for the Dallas Cowboys to win their third-straight game while keeping their postseason hopes alive against the Oakland Raiders.
It’s anybody’s guess as to how the Dallas Cowboys remain alive and well in their quest to qualify for the NFC playoff bracket following a truly one-of-a-kind 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.
This game was as close as a folded piece of paper was thick, literally.
A fourth-quarter quarterback sneak by Dak Prescott only got a first down to continue an eventual game-winning field goal drive by about a tenth of a centimeter, and that’s also how close the Cowboys came to losing this game as well later on.
If Raiders quarterback Derek Carr doesn’t fumble the ball into the endzone and out of bounds from the Dallas one yard-line for a touchback, it’s first and goal Oakland with Marshawn Lynch waiting to score a touchdown that would have made the final score 24-20 in favor of the Men In Black.
Yes, Christmas came early for the Cowboys.
Despite the edge-of-your-seat viewing experience for a Cowboys fanbase still clinging to somewhat distant playoff hopes, Dallas played a truly unforgettable game made somewhat easier by a cascade of Oakland mistakes.
The Cowboys forced four Raiders fumbles and failed to recover a single one. Prescott tossed a couple of interceptions and threw no touchdowns. For the second-straight game, Dallas failed to get a single sack, despite going up against a weakened opposing offensive line.
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Factor in a massive loss for the Seattle Seahawks and a likely-fatal setback for the Green Bay Packers, and the Dallas Cowboys remain in the hunt for one of two wild card playoff berths to be determined by Week 17.
Head coach Jason Garrett knew that this was a must-win game for his football team. He knew that a win against Oakland meant that this team could be back at full strength by next week with Ezekiel Elliott finally returning from a six-game suspension.
Garrett called a fake punt in this game and also went for it on Prescott’s keeper that required a paper card to confirm a first-down conversion. This was a Jimmy Johnson-like coaching job that will be remembered for a long time, regardless of how this season turns out.
After everything that’s happened to this point, the Dallas Cowboys have a short two-game season in which to erase all of the suspensions and injuries that have held this team back since Week 1.
But Hall of Fame receiver and Cowboys great Michael Irvin told TMZ Sports last week that the Cowboys would be the last team that anybody in the NFC playoffs would want to face – and he’s exactly right.
An injury to Tyron Smith and Anthony Hitchens will be monitored closely next week, but at least the Cowboys were able to prevent a complete collapse against Oakland’s talented pass-rush duo of Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin without their future Hall of Fame blocker.
Getting Elliott and Irving back are the top priorities against the Seahawks on Week 16. It’ll be Christmas Eve for the final regular season game at AT&T Stadium this year and a two-game season for Cowboys Nation is the present Cowboys Nation was hoping for.