Raiders vs. Cowboys: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Dallas

Sean ODonnellContributor IIINovember 28, 2013

Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA;  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders in first quarter during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys were able to defeat the Oakland Raiders by a score of 31-24 in this Thursday showdown. The Cowboys got off to a very slow start but were able to dominate over the second half of the game.

Dallas now sits alone atop the NFC East with a 7-5 record and will have a long week of preparations before its Monday night contest against the Chicago Bears on December 9th.

This huge victory on Thanksgiving Day will give the Cowboys a great amount of confidence and set the tone for the remainder of their season.



Oakland Raiders - 24

Dallas Cowboys - 31

Dallas Cowboys' Game Grades
Positional UnitFirst-Half GradesFinal Grades
Pass OffenseC-B+
Run OffenseCA
Pass DefenseD-C
Run DefenseB+A-
Special TeamsDC+
vs. Raiders Week 13


Game Analysis for the Dallas Cowboys

Pass Offense: Tony Romo fed off of his final first-half drive and played some solid football over the second half of the game. He became a very efficient passer and spread the ball around nicely over the final two quarters. Romo finished the game completing 23 of 32 passing attempts for 225 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 101.7.

Run Offense: The Cowboys decided to utilize a committee approach in the backfield over the second half. Lance Dunbar was electrifying and racked up an average of 6.8 yards per carry. DeMarco Murray shined in goal-to-go situations and piled up three rushing touchdowns in Thursday’s contest.

Pass Defense: Rookie quarterback Matt McGloin looked sharp against the Dallas secondary over the first half. However, after some halftime adjustments, the Cowboys were able to maintain tight coverage and take away the deep pass. An interception on a deep ball in the end zone by Brandon Carr helped turn the tide in Dallas’ favor.

Run Defense: Throughout the contest, DeMarcus Ware and Co. were outstanding in the trenches. Raiders running backs were held to a mere 2.0 yards per carry. Dallas did allow two rushing touchdowns to Rashad Jennings, but remained stout overall.

Special Teams: Kick and punt coverage units remained stout throughout the game and did not allow much room for Oakland’s speedy returners to maneuver. Cole Beasley had a solid day returning punts, including a shifty 12-yard return in the fourth quarter. Dan Bailey connected on his lone field-goal attempt late in the contest to ice the game.

Coaching: The Cowboys coaching staff made all the right adjustments after halftime. They allowed the running game to get going, which was a huge factor in Dallas’ offensive success. Appropriate adjustments were also made in the secondary to take the deep ball away from Matt McGloin. Penalties were also held to a minimum, as the Cowboys totaled six for a total of 40 yards.


Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


First-Half Analysis for the Dallas Cowboys

Pass Offense: Tony Romo began the game in shaky fashion. His passes were errant, and he was lucky to escape without an interception. However, Romo was able to finally get into a groove during the two-minute drill just before the half.

Run Offense: The Cowboys simply are not running the football enough. DeMarco Murray’s lack of carries in the first half did not allow him to get into a rhythm, and his production suffered as a result. However, two goal-line carries resulted in two scores for Murray.

Pass Defense: A Matt McGloin fumble was recovered by Kyle Wilber, which led to a Dallas touchdown late in the first quarter. However, the Dallas secondary allowed room on some deeper routes which resulted in 146 passing yards for the rookie quarterback over two quarters.

Run Defense: Despite giving up two rushing touchdowns, the Cowboys defense remained stout in the trenches. The Raiders were only able to muster 2.1 yards per carry as a team over the first half.

Special Teams: The game did not start off the way the Cowboys planned. Terrance Williams fumbled the opening kickoff, and it was returned by Oakland for a touchdown. Chris Jones had a decent half punting the football, averaging 47.8 yards per punt.

Coaching: Now that Romo has been able to get into a rhythm, the Cowboys must balance the offense to increase its effectiveness. Adjustments must be made to get the ball into Murray’s hands more often. On the defensive side of the ball, applying pressure on McGloin must be stressed for the second half.