The Dallas Cowboys struggled through the November journey through the AFC West, which got a lot of shine from their incredible start, even though they still dominate the NFC East.
After forcing extra time on Thursday, the Cowboys had two more premature penalties after getting the ball first before losing 36-33 to the Las Vegas Raiders. The loss was third for Dallas in four games, all against the AFC West teams.
Out of a 6-1 record after the Minnesota Halloween win, the Cowboys ended their annual Thanksgiving game 7-4. They only play at home the day after Christmas.
“It was definitely (was) a home game we hoped we could make before the trip so we could win this game,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “Oakland took advantage of the situation. I call it a throw-in. The right way to play a game like this is to just throw it out and get a penalty.”
Daniel Carlson’s game ended in a 29-yard goal after corner defender Anthony Brown was asked to enter the third landing for the fourth time. It was part of a franchise record, 166 penalty yards against Dallas with 14 forced tickets.
After this 33-yard penalty for Dallas 24, the Raiders (6-5) had two running games to set up a kick that ended their three-game losing streak.
“It’s frustrating, but at the same time you have to deal with it. You have to fight through it,” Brown said. “Another team is handling it, too. They’re being called too. We can’t complain about that.”
Without their top two recipients, and while Ezekiel Elliott continued to play through the ongoing knee injury, Dallas still had a total of 437 yards and a forced overtime to Greg Zuerlein’s 45-yard goal.
Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein lost an extra point and a 59-yard goal on Thursday in a game that Dallas lost by three. NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs says the more Zuerlein kicks, the more questions arise.
But the Cowboys were plagued by penalties all along, including an illegal blockade in the start-up return that forced them to start overtime on their own 7.
November started with a home loss for Dallas 30-14 for Denver, which led 30-0 in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys then won at home 43-3 from Atlanta next week before losing 19-9 in Kansas City last Sunday.
Dallas will now play three games in a row on the road next Thursday in New Orleans before the division matches against Washington and the New York Giants.
Receivers CeeDee Lamb (concussion) and Amari Cooper (COVID-19 protocols) are expected to return to Saints. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (broken leg) was also able to play for the first time since the season opened.
Despite a less-than-desired result on the field, Dallas Cowboys fans were in full swing in the team’s annual Thanksgiving match.
The Eagles (5-6) and Washington (4-6) have both won their last two matches, going to this weekend’s match against 3-7 teams. Dallas ’next home game is at its best on December 26 against Washington.
“We have help along the way, we have young guys who play hard,” Jones said. “We have a tight schedule ahead of us. I’m not talking about other teams and the strength of the schedule. We walk out of here and play any team and we know we have our hands full in every game.
“We are a team that needs to get better than we were here today to think about our goals for this year,” he said. “We need to get better than we were today. But the facts are that we can get better, we can be better technically and concretely than we are today.”
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