Cowboys vs. Raiders: What we know, what we don’t know on Thanksgiving

Shilique Calhoun #91 of the Oakland Raiders closes in on Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Shilique Calhoun #91 of the Oakland Raiders closes in on Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Dallas Cowboys, CeeDee Lamb
Dallas Cowboys CeeDee Lamb Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

We know the Cowboys will be without their stars.

Lucky for Dallas, it seems like left tackle Tyron Smith will be active for today’s game. That’s good news for the offense that could not score a touchdown last week against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is out today with a concussion.

Now Lamb is added to a list where Dallas is already without defensive ends Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence, wide receiver Amari Cooper, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, tight end Blake Jarwin, and safety Donavan Wilson name a few. All of those players would be significant contributors if they were on the field.

That is the nature of the NFL. Injuries will happen, but when they do, it shows a team’s true character if they can overcome the setbacks. In Week 8, against a tough road matchup against the Minnesota Vikings where quarterback Dak Prescott did not play, the Cowboys overcame the odds and won the game. The same has to be done against the Raiders today.

Since the start of the season, Las Vegas has not been the same team due to some “in-house issues” and has lost big in their previous two games. If there were a get-right game for Dallas, it would be today at 4:30 EST in Arlington, Texas.

We know rookie Micah Parsons is a leader.

The Dallas defense has improved much since last season, and the turnaround should be credited to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and rookie linebacker Micah Parsons. When the Cowboys headed into the 2021 Draft, their eyes were set on taking a cornerback. The front office told Parsons that when he arrived in Dallas.

He has justified being the 12th overall pick and then some. He leads all rookies with eight sacks and has the highest rushing percentage in the NFL at 19.8%.

Parsons can hopefully create turnovers like he has been doing all season if the Cowboys are looking for any turnaround today. It feels like he’s due for an interception at some point, and today would be the time to do it against quarterback Derek Carr who’s thrown five picks in the past four games.