Raiders corner Mike Jenkins can't stop Dez Bryant from making a TD catch in the third quarter. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin this past week said he was eager to play the first Thanksgiving game of his NFL game.
“I’m sure everybody has grown up watching that game on Thanksgiving with their families,” he told reporters. “Being a part of it is something special.”
Unfortunately for McGloin, the annual Thanksgiving game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys had anything but a special ending for the Raiders.
After jumping out to a 21-7 lead by halftime, the Raiders gave up 24 straight points to the Cowboys to lose, 31-24. It was the second straight loss for Oakland and drops the Raiders to 4-8 – essentially snuffing out the slim hopes that surfaced three weeks ago for a possible wild-card berth after a victory over the Texans.
It was yet another frustrating chapter to this season for the Raiders offense, that again got off to a quick start and a lead before going dormant over the final two quarters.
As one Raiders fan named Patrick Griffin tweeted after the Cowboys took the lead early in the fourth quarter: “It’s like we switch coordinators after the first half.” The coordinator in this case would be offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
Olson’s offense produced two touchdowns in the second quarter to build a lead, after a 23-yard fumble return by Greg Jenkins on the opening kickoff had given the Raiders a 7-0 start.
In the second quarter, the Raiders marched 89 yards to score on a 1-yard dive by Rashad Jennings, then put together another TD drive on their next possession that also ended on a Jennings’ 1-yard run.
But after working most of the first half to build a 21-7 lead, the Raiders then gave up a quick score – a bad omen for the day.
Dallas drove from its own 27 with 1:48 remaining to score on DeMarco Murray’s 4-yard run with 14 seconds before the half to climb within a touchdown.
In the second half the only points the Raiders could muster came on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal late in the fourth quarter after the Cowboys had scored TDs on a 4-yard pass from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant, a 7-yard by Murray and a 19-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
The Raiders offense went flat. Tweeted Vic Tafur, who covers the Raiders for the San Francisco Chronicle: “Second-half game plan lacked stuffing.”
The Oakland defense, meanwhile, couldn't stop Romo, who passed for 225 yards, and the Cowboys offense, that rolled up 352 yards and 23 first downs.
After a short week of practice for Thursday’s game vs. the Cowboys, the Raiders will now have three extra days to prepare for their game in New Jersey vs. the New York Jets on Dec. 8.