In a matchup of two teams fighting for their playoff lives, the Dallas Cowboys hit the road to take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football.
On Sunday night, two teams looking to keep their playoff hopes alive met up inside the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders were coming off a bad loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend, one that saw them lose their tie for first place in the AFC West. The Dallas Cowboys took care of the New York Giants on the road in Week 15, and were looking to make it two straight road wins when they played the Raiders in Week 16.
It was all Dallas during the first half, as they went into half time with a 10-0 lead. Oakland looked to put some points on the board late in the second quarter, but a Jared Cook touchdown was called back due to offensive pass interference. The Raiders would have to settle for a field goal try, which Giorgio Tavecchio promptly shanked wide left.
Oakland got the ball to start the second half, and quickly made up for the missed opportunity to end the first half. Derek Carr led his team on an 11-play, 90-yard drive, which culminated with his 100th career touchdown pass. That pass went to Michael Crabtree, and it seemed to swing the momentum in the Raiders favor for the time being.
A Sean Smith interception would lead to a Tavecchio field goal, tying the game up at 10. The Cowboys would retake the lead on their next possession, thanks to a fake punt, and a huge defensive pass interference call. Dak Prescott would run a touchdown in from five yards out, putting the Cowboys up 17-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Oakland would score to make it 17-17, and after a Dan Bailey field goal, the Raiders would get one more chance to at least tie the game. A huge pass interference call gave the Raiders the ball deep in Dallas territory, with a chance to kick the field goal and go to overtime. Instead, Carr tried to extend the ball to score the game-winning touchdown, fumbled the ball forward out of teh end zone, and the Raiders lost 20-17.
For Oakland, that loss likely spells the end of any chance of making the playoffs. Dallas kept their playoff hopes alive with the win, and will likely have to win out to make the postseason.
The Oakland Raiders came into this game as three-point home underdogs, and that would end up being the amount of points they would lose by. The over/under was set at 46.0, and the game would not come close to that, as the teams combined for 37 points in this one. All odds were available throughout the week on OddsShark.com.
1. Dallas Cowboys secondary
Sure, Derek Carr finished with two touchdowns in the game, but this young secondary for Dallas could wind up being something special. The group went toe to toe with the best the Raiders had to throw at them, and continued to play aggressive football throughout. The defensive backfield for Dallas lost a lot of veteran players this offseason, but the future is definitely bright for the Cowboys secondary.
2. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Outside of the fumble that cost his team the game, Derek Carr played well in this one. Carr utilized the short passing game to perfection, and seemed to lead his team back time and time again. With the loss, the Raiders will likely miss out on the playoffs, and for Carr, he has to be a bit disappointing with how his season went in 2017.
3. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys struggled in the passing game in this one, but their trusty tight end played a big role on Sunday night. Witten led the team with four catches, but it was his play on running downs that really made a difference. He is still one of the more clutch performers at his position in the league, and he proved his worth on Sunday night.
The Oakland Raiders will hit the road in Week 16, as they travel East to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Day. Dallas will head back home to AT&T Stadium, where they will play host to the Seattle Seahawks on Christmas Eve next Sunday.