1. Back on the Star
Rich Bisaccia is very familiar with AT&T Stadium and the players he'll be facing on Thanksgiving. The interim head coach was with the Cowboys for five seasons as their assistant head coach/special teams coordinator. On Monday during his media availability, he noted that the roster doesn't look too much different from when he left.
"Some of the players are still there," said Bisaccia. "That quarterback Dak Prescott is still there. Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott] is still there. They're extremely fast and physical on defense. They're really playing well in the kicking game. I think they blocked three punts, two for touchdowns, I believe in the last four weeks. So, they're an experienced team up front with Zack Martin and Tyron Smith, I believe will be back in our game, and those are two gold-jacket type players. And anytime you play against Dak, you have to be aware of what he can do. How he can extend plays on third down, along with all the other downs. ...
"They're a tremendous roster. They're really well coached in all three phases. They are well experienced and again this will be a great challenge for us."
2. Nov. 28, 2013
The last time the Raiders played on Thanksgiving Day was against the Dallas Cowboys in 2013. The Silver and Black suffered a 31-24 defeat at the hands of Tony Romo – who threw for 225 yards and a touchdown. No player from either team that played in that matchup is with their retrospective franchise.
3. Coop is out the loop
The Amari Cooper revenge game will have to wait, as the Cowboys star receiver will not play due to COVID-19 protocol. Cooper played for the Raiders for nearly four seasons, where he racked up three Pro Bowls and 19 touchdowns with Derek Carr as his quarterback.
The Cowboys may also be down another one of their talented receivers, as CeeDee Lamb is currently in concussion protocol and listed as questionable.
The Raiders quarterback is also on the verge of history this Thanksgiving with another milestone in reach.
Carr is 63 passing yards away from reaching 30,000 career passing yards. The eight-year veteran already has the record for the most passing yards in franchise history, and would become the 51st quarterback in NFL history to reach the 30,000 mark. He'd also be the fifth quarterback to reach the milestone within the first eight seasons of his career.
5. The offensive line has been coming along
The offensive-line has steadily improved throughout the season, becoming one of the sneakily good units in the NFL. The offense only had one pre-snap penalty against the Bengals, and the number of sacks Carr has taken has reduced over the weeks. After being sacked 17 times in the first six games, he's only been sacked five times in the past four games. Things have honestly looked better for the O-line unit after moving 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood inside from right tackle to right guard.
"I'm super proud of Alex, he's taken on that role since day one. ... Just getting with him – because I'm playing right next to him – so just getting with him, just getting familiar with how we like to do our combinations, how we communicate," said starting center Andre James. "And he's done an awesome job and I'm super proud of him."
Guard Jermaine Eluemunor could potentially be asked to step up in a big way in Dallas, as John Simpson is listed as questionable (ribs).
6. The return of Rod Marinelli
Another coach outside of Rich Bisaccia that's spent time with the Dallas Cowboys is Rod Marinelli. He was with the team from 2013-19, serving as their defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.
He's been helping generate success for the Silver and Black with his defensive line this season, as the Raiders defense has 24 sacks and is second in the league in quarterback hits with 76. Marinelli will need to coach up his talented defensive line the best he can going up against the Cowboys' top-tier offensive line. Their unit upfront is led by All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith, who will be returning from injury, and All-Pro guard Zach Martin, who's brother is Raiders center Nick Martin.