The Oakland Raiders appeared to be in strong position to notch their fifth win of the season on Thanksgiving, leading the Dallas Cowboys, 21-7, late in the second quarter. The Raiders got on the board first by returning a fumble for a touchdown on the opening kickoff. Then quarterback Matt McGloin led the Raiders on two impressive drives to set up one-yard touchdown plunges by Rashad Jennings.
Things were looking up for the Raiders, but after their third score of the first half, they had to kick the ball back. The Cowboys took over possession, and the game was downhill from there according to Levi Damien at Raiders blog Silver And Black Pride.
After that, the Raiders dominated through most of the rest of the first half. Their offense drove for two touchdowns, going 7 for 7 on third down in the process. All the while the defense shut out the Cowboys' offense to take a 21-7 lead late in the second quarter.
Then came the Cowboys' final drive of the first half.
The Cowboys got the ball with just under two minutes left on the clock and drove right down the field to add a touchdown before half time. The Raiders' prevent defense just laid down and let the Cowboys score to head into the half down just 21-14.
The Cowboys scored 17 consecutive points to take a 31-21 lead until a late Sebastian Janikowski field goal set the 31-24 final score.
At 4-8 overall, the Raiders are admittedly a bad team. That said, the Cowboys have managed to lose to seemingly overmatched opponents in the past. According to Tom Ryle at Cowboys blog Blogging The Boys, the Cowboys' win Thursday proved that the team is resilient. Dallas was able to assert its position atop the NFC East standings as a result.
And they beat the trend of not being able to keep momentum that has plagued them the past couple of years. They even beat two jinxes, with Tony Romo on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the team wearing the dreaded blue jerseys. (Personally, I like the way they looked, and would like to see more of the blue.) This was a gut check game, coming from 14 down. I am not sure the recent editions of the team could have done it the way this year's did.