On Now
Coming Up
  • Fri., Apr. 25, 2014 11:00AM - 12:00PM CDT Live The Draft Show Join Bryan Broaddus, David Helman, Ed Cahill as they break down all of the latest draft news and information.

News & Blogs

Print
RSS

Instant Review: Staff Gives Early Analysis After 31-24 Win

Posted Nov 28, 2013


ARLINGTON, Texas –  The staff writers of DallasCowboys.com shared their initial feelings of the Cowboys’ 31-24 win over the Raiders Thursday at AT&T Stadium.    

David Helman: That first half was a little uglier than you’d typically like to see, but the way this season has gone, it’s hard to get picky about how the Cowboys delivered a win. It was great to see the running game deliver with 144 total rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground, but the success of the passing games makes that possible in my opinion. The ground game seemed to get cranking once the offense had spread the Raiders out and forced them to account for Dez Bryant and Co., and hopefully the coaching staff recognizes that. Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’ll go ahead and eat some crow, or turkey – whatever: I thought the Raiders would run all over this defense, but Jason Hatcher and his No-Names absolutely shut it down. Oakland averaged two yards per carry. That was fantastic, and it put a strain on Matt McGloin that he eventually could not handle.

Rowan Kavner: I don’t think anyone anticipated the quick 14-point lead by the Raiders, and more surprisingly how they got there. I expected the Raiders to run all over the Cowboys’ defense, but they only ended up with 50 yards. Oakland and former Cowboys Andre Holmes burned Dallas through the air. Eventually, the Dallas defense began to answer, allowing the Cowboys’ offense to finally gain steam with their own rushing prowess. We all predicted Dallas to eventually come out on top, and the Cowboys’ resiliency finally has them two games above .500 for the first time this year, thanks in large part to their running game. The Lance Dunbar touchdown never happened, but he finally had the game everyone thought they might see from him early in the season after watching his tremendous training camp. It was bittersweet, as his career day ended with a knee injury late, but if he can get healthy quickly that would be a huge boost for the running attack.

Nick Eatman:  Ok, not sure I got anything right about this one, other than a Cowboys’ win. It was tougher than I thought it’d be. Anytime you give up a touchdown 12 seconds into the game, it’ll probably be that way. But the Raiders did a nice job of controlling the first half. To me, the biggest play in the game was Tyron Smith’s fumble recovery before halftime. If they’re down 21-7 at the half, the game is different. But I liked how the Cowboys stepped up to stop the run. In fact, they took a page from the Raiders’ book and ran it well. Lance Dunbar gave them a nice spark. Let’s see if his knee injury is a big issue but I don’t think it will be. This was a big-time win for the Cowboys who skipped the 6-6 train and got two games over .500. And with another mini-break coming up, things are looking up for the Cowboys right now.

Photos from the Cowboys 31-24 victory over the Raiders >>

 

Here we're the gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, David Helman and Rowan Kavner, posted Wednesday.

David Helman: It’s a little troubling to see a running game that’s averaging 5.1 yards per attempt come into AT&T Stadium to face a Cowboys defense that’s allowing 5.1 yards per attempt. It’s likely to be a long Thanksgiving for the Cowboys’ makeshift defensive line against Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden. Fortunately, I think the Cowboys hold a significant edge in most other facets of the matchup. Oakland’s passing game isn’t anything to fear, and Tony Romo should be able to build on Sunday’s success against the Raiders’ No. 25 pass defense. I’m going to take a stab and say Cole Beasley finds the end zone in some fashion. I also think logistics will play a role – Oakland has to be at a disadvantage playing an afternoon game after a cross-country flight on three days’ rest. Dallas is roughly a 10-point favorite, and I think they’ll deliver on that in a 27-14 win.

Rowan Kavner: It’s never happened before. The Cowboys have never this year won the following game after going a game above .500. That should change this week, despite running numbers that should leave many concerned. As poorly as the Raiders might have played in leading to a 4-7 record, they do boast a top five rushing offense and Rashad Jennings has been magnificent in Darren McFadden’s stead. I see the Raiders rushing for more than 150 yards, but the Cowboys finally getting out of that .500 mold by fighting out a closer win than many expected. Barry Church comes up big by forcing a turnover, Dez Bryant continues to torch his opponent and a backup player, either James Hanna or Lance Dunbar, finds the end zone. I also think Thanksgiving Day is kind to Miles Austin.

Nick Eatman: I just don’t see this one being a big problem for the Cowboys. The key starts on offense. If the Cowboys score some points early in the game, then I don’t think Oakland has much of a chance to get back in it. If the Raiders somehow control the tempo, and run the ball at will, then maybe this will be a tough one. It could go like Minnesota where the Vikings were able to use their strength for the entire game. But I see the Cowboys jumping out on the Raiders and getting a comfortable win. I can see a touchdown catch for Cole Beasley, two sacks for DeMarcus Ware and another defensive touchdown this week … let’s give it to Barry Church. But I see the Cowboys with a 31-16 win to get to 7-5 this week.  
Image Map