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Key Matchups To Watch: Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys


Well, it's put up or shut up time for the Oakland Raiders.

Although the team is currently one game under .500, their playoff hopes still have a heartbeat, although if the Silver and Black can't take care of business Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, that heartbeat will be a lot harder to hear Monday morning.

The Cowboys enter Week 15 as winners of two in a row, and also desperately need a win to keep their own playoff hopes alive. The primetime clash at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum will feature two teams fighting for their playoff lives, so here are three matchups to watch during the game, presented by Madden 18.

Quarterback Derek Carr vs. Quarterback Dak Prescott

It seems like it always comes down to the quarterback doesn't it?

While Derek Carr is coming off a game he'd likely rather forget, Dak Prescott marches into the OACC on the heels of a career outing last week against the New York Giants in which he completed 20 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns.

Oh, and he ran the ball six times as well for 13 yards.

Prescott is the epitome of a dual-threat quarterback, so if John Pagano's group wants to limit the athletic signal-caller, they're going to have to find a way to make sure he doesn't hurt them with his arms or his legs.

As we said above, Sunday night's game is one that both teams desperately need to stay in the playoff hunt, so all eyes will be on the men under center.

Let's see who makes the most of their opportunity.

Right Tackle Marshall Newhouse vs. Defensive End Demarcus Lawrence

Marshall Newhouse has quite the challenge in front of him this Sunday as he's set to square off against Demarcus Lawrence.

After tallying just a single sack in 2016, Lawrence has had a colossal 2017, as he's already tallied 13.5 sacks headed into Week 15.

He's no question playing the best football of his professional career, and at this point, you have to say that he's one of the most dangerous defenders in the NFL right now.

While limiting Lawrence is certainly no easy task, Newhouse and the Raiders offensive line have once again been strong in pass protection, surrendering just 21 sacks in 2017.

The big fellas up front have continually given Derek Carr time and room to operate throughout the season, and while keeping Lawrence at bay is going to have to be a collective effort, it's a battle I'm looking forward to watching play out.

Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree vs. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie

Look, at this point, we simply don't know if Amari Cooper is going to be able to return to the field Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

After injuring his ankle in the first half of last week's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, we'll have to wait and see how he mends over the next few days before we can get a clearer picture of No. 89's availability for Sunday night.

That being said, even if Cooper *is *able to go, the Silver and Black will need a big outing from "King  Crab."

While Orlando Scandrick's availability for the primetime battle is also up in the air, we figure to see a lot of Crabtree matched up against Chidobe Awuzie.

The rookie defensive back has enjoyed a strong first season in Dallas, and he'll look to keep that going in a must-win game on the road.

Oh, and did I mention that Awuzie is from San Jose? You have to assume he's going to be pretty gassed up to play in front of his friends and family.

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