Cowboys vs. Raiders: Matchup history, players to watch and gut prediction
By Riley Donald
On a short week, the Raiders come to Dallas to take on a Cowboys team looking to stop any sort of skid in a bounce-back Thanksgiving game.
This Week 12 game just became a lot more interesting for the Dallas Cowboys. Coming off a 19-9 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs in which the offense was beyond stagnant, the Cowboys look to turn things around as they host the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving.
Two storied franchises, Thanksgiving football, this one should be intriguing.
The Cowboys failed to score a touchdown against the Chiefs and could be without even more offensive starters as they turn things around on the short week. The offensive game plan is a bit simpler than one may expect, and it’s time for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to go after a team’s weakness once again.
The Raiders are coming off of a pretty sound loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and find themselves at a turning point. After a hot start to the year, they have had a tumultuous last few weeks between the firing of head coach Jon Gruden and the releases of former high-profile NFL Draft investments, Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette.
That said, Las Vegas is still in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race and desperately needs a win to keep pace.
Without further ado, let’s check out our Turkey Day matchup. You know I love a history lesson, I know you love a weather outlook, we all love some key players, and who doesn’t love a little prediction at the end? Let’s go!
Dallas Cowboys vs. Las Vegas Raiders: A history
All-Time Record: Series is tied 6-6,
Most Recent Result: Dallas Cowboys 20, Oakland Raiders 17 on Dec. 17, 2017
The Cowboys come into this matchup with a three-game win streak over the Raiders. Two of those games were also Thanksgiving matchups. In 2013 and 2009, the Cowboys took down the Raiders in front of the nation on their way to a Thanksgiving evening feast.
In more recent history, who could forget the “notecard game” in 2017 that saw the Cowboys steal a victory by the literal millimeters of thickness a notecard offers.
The Cowboys had the ball in a tie game late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Dak Prescott ran the ball on a 4th-and-1 to keep the drive alive that came up very close. The referees brought out the sticks. Head referee, Gene Steratore, was unsure if there was space between the ball and chains. The use of a crumpled-up notecard to see if it could fit or not was what ultimately resulted in a first down on the way to a 20-17 Cowboys victory that caused quite the controversy.
It was a tactic never before seen in an NFL game, and luckily, Dallas came out on the right side of it.
This year’s matchup could come down to a game that is just as close on the scoreboard, as the Cowboys come in banged up, and the Raiders should have quite the sense of urgency. While we probably won’t see any notecards brought out, there could be some crucial short-yardage situations determining this game.
The Raiders, led by quarterback Derek Carr on offense who is quietly putting up a respectful year amidst an extraordinary amount of commotion in within the franchise, also boast a run game led by running back Josh Jacobs, albeit a rash of injuries this season have limited his effectiveness.
Las Vegas draws attention when it gets national coverage, and that spotlight will only increase when two of the most polarizing franchises go at it on Thanksgiving as the only afternoon game on.
The Cowboys and Raiders each need a win to keep pace for different reasons and it should create an intense atmosphere.