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Don’t Forget About These 5: Raiders TDs Wiped Out; Heath’s Prequel to Final Play
OAKLAND – In one of the wildest games and finishes in recent years, the Cowboys were able to survive this rollercoaster ride of emotions and sneak out of Oakland Coliseum with a dramatic win that kept the season alive for now.
But all games have those plays that can get lost in the shuffle, but still played a huge part in the final outcome. Check out the five plays from this game that affected this wild game.
Offensive PI Negates Raiders TD – Late in the second quarter, the Raiders were still scoreless but driving for points when Jared Cook caught a touchdown pass from Derek Carr. However, the refs called Cook for a pushoff on Sean Lee in the end zone, taking the points off the board. Two plays later, the Raiders missed a field goal before halftime, keeping the score at 10-0. Not only did the penalty erase seven points, but the yards backward likely led to the field goal miss.
Missed TD pass to Crabtree – While Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree had two touchdown catches, he nearly hauled in one early in the third quarter on the play following the interception return that was reversed when replay officials ruled Cole Beasley touched the defender on the ground. On the next play, Derek Carr went deep to the left for Crabtree but the ball fell incomplete with nice coverage from cornerback Jourdan Lewis. That play set the tone for a turnaround in the momentum. The Cowboys defense held the Raiders to another field goal attempt, that only tied the game.
Dez Picks Up Big Play After Penalty – Obviously, this third-quarter drive doesn’t even happen without the fake punt by Chris Jones. That kind of big play doesn’t make this list. But, as the Cowboys were driving for the go-ahead touchdown, a holding call on Byron Bell put the offense back to first-and-20 from the 44. Also on that holding play, Dez Bryant dropped a pass in the open that wouldn’t have counted anyway, but still was a negative play against a star receiver who hadn’t been a factor yet. But on the ensuing play, Dez got most of the yards back on a 19-yard catch-and-run to the 25. Three plays later, the Cowboys were in the end zone thanks to a Dak Prescott touchdown run.
Cook’s Drop Pass Forces Punt – With the game tied 17-17 midway through the fourth, the Raiders were trying to mount a drive to either win the game or take the lead. But on a crucial third-and-4 from the Raiders 21, Carr’s pass over the middle to tight end Jared Cook was dropped on what would’ve been a first down play. Instead, the Raiders had to punt to the Cowboys, who promptly drove the field for the go-ahead score. Don’t forget it was Cook who hauled in the clutch reception in the playoff game with the Packers last year to set up Green Bay’s game-winning field goal.
Smith Moves the Ball on Screen Pass – Lost in the craziness of the fourth-down spot and the index card for measurement and then the long pass to Dez Bryant down the sideline, was an 12-yard pass to fullback Keith Smith, who bullied his way for the first down into Raiders territory. While it was just a footnote in a crazy drive, Smith’s play allowed the Cowboys to be aggressive and try the shot down the field to Dez. Just another player to remember.
Bonus Play: Heath’s Big Play Before Biggest Play – Jeff Heath undoubtedly save the game with a huge forced fumble on the goal line. But don’t forget he might have saved it the play before on second down from the Cowboys’ 8. Carr went over the middle to Crabtree but Heath extended his arm just in time to deflect the pass incomplete. That set up the next play when Carr scrambled to the end zone but Heath knocked him out of bounds and forced the game-changing fumble. Read