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Cowboys Crush Raiders 24-7, Face Tough December

Derek MajorCorrespondent INovember 27, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26:  Running back Felix Jones #28 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders at Cowboys Stadium on November 26, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Cowboys know that December is going to be a tough month and with a game against the lowly Raiders the Cowboys didn't play with their Thanksgiving food as they dominated the game start to finish.

The Cowboys' offense was as perfect as a Thanksgiving turkey. Tony Romo went 18-for-29 for 308 yards and two TDs. Receiver Miles Austin and Tight End Jason Witten benefited from Romo's good day as they had plenty of balls to catch.

Jason Witten had five catches for 107 yards, his longest catch coming in the third quarter when Romo avoided a sack and hit Witten for a 44-yard catch and run that led to a Roy Williams TD. Witten was questionable on Monday but his sore foot improved during the week and he showed no signs of the injury during the game.

Miles Austin had been held in check the last two games but busted out on Turkey Day with seven catches for 145 yards and one TD. Austin beat pro bowl safety Nnamdi Asomugha a few times and was able to score on a screen pass after his TD two plays before was overturned after a official challenge.

The running game for the Cowboys was great. Smash, Dash and Tash each had one run of over 30 yards and finished with 196 yards combined. Marion Barber had 61 yards on 14 carries and also added a 42-yard catch. Felix Jones finished with seven carries for 68 yards including a 46-yard TD run that gave the Cowboys a 10-0 lead. Tashard Choice ran mainly out of the Wildcat and finished with three carries for 67 yards including a 66-yard scamper that set up a Nick Folk Field goal to make it 3-0.

The Cowboys defense gave up less than 10 points for the second straight game. Bruce Gradkowski (18-for-35, 200 yards and one TD) was pressured throughout the game and sacked three times. Gradkowski connected with Darrius Heyward-Bey for the Raiders only TD in the third quarter.

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Linebacker Anthony Spencer finally got his first two sacks of the season while the man he replaced Greg Ellis, sat on the Raiders bench with a swollen knee. DeMarcus Ware also had a sack and a forced fumble recovered by Jay Ratliff to end the first half.

The running game for the Raiders was successful early in the game, but as the game went on the Cowboys front seven took control. Justin Fargas finished with 63 yards on 12 carries; Darren McFadden had eight carries for 23 yards and added 43 yards receiving.

The Cowboys secondary shut down the Raiders receivers as tight end Zach Miller led the team with 73 yards on five catches. Heyward-Bey, Chad Schilens and Louis Murphy combined for just six catches and 75 yards.

The Cowboys now head into December where the Cowboys are 17-29 since 1999 and this December won't be an easy one. The Cowboys face the Giants on the road, and then face the Chargers at home before going on a two game road trip to New Orleans and Washington.

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