Raiders Fall to Cowboys

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The Oakland Raiders visited the Dallas Cowboys for a Thanksgiving Day match-up at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Raiders 24-7. QB Bruce Gradkowski completed 18 of 35 pass attempts for 200 yards including a touchdown pass resulting in rookie WR Darrius Heyward-Bey's first career touchdown.

The Raiders won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. K David Buehler's opening kickoff bounced through the end zone for a touchback and the Raiders offense took the field with Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback. The Raiders moved out to their own 45 before the Cowboys forced a P Shane Lechler punt. Lechler's 55-yard punt bounced into the end zone for a touchback and the Cowboys offense took the field for the first time with Tony Romo at quarterback.

The Cowboys drove into Raiders territory but two penalties forced the Cowboys into 3rd and 24. FS Michael Huff broke up a pass from Romo to WR Roy Williams and P Matt McBriar's punt went out of bounds at the Oakland 7 where the Raiders took over with 9:27 left in the first quarter.

The Raiders drove out to their 35 before the Cowboys forced a punt. WR Patrick Crayton returned the punt and a penalty backed the Cowboys up to their 8-yard line. The Raiders defense forced a punt and McBriar came on to punt the ball away to WR/PR Johnnie Lee Higgins. After Higgins' return and a penalty, the Raiders offense took the field at their 30.

The Raiders moved out to their own 48 before the Cowboys forced a Lechler punt. WR Patrick Crayton called for and made a fair catch at the 13. A penalty moved the ball out to the 23. RB Tashard Choice ripped off a 66-yard run to the Raiders 11. The Raiders held and forced a K Nick Folk 36-yard field goal attempt. The kick was good and Dallas took a 3-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

RB Gary Russell fielded the ensuing kickoff in the end zone for a touchback. The Raiders managed one first down before Dallas forced a punt. Crayton was dropped at the 11 after Lechler's 66-yard rocket and a 6-yard return.

The Cowboys took a 10-0 lead with 10:48 left in the 2nd quarter when RB Felix Jones broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown run and Folk added the extra point.

Gary Russell returned the ensuing kickoff to the Oakland 17. The Raiders managed one first down before the Cowboys defense forced a punt. Crayton returned Lechler's 69-yard boot to the Dallas 28. Dallas drove into Raiders territory but Folk clanged a 49-yard field goal attempt off the right upright and the Raiders offense took over at the Oakland 40.

The Cowboys defense forced a three and out and Lechler punted the ball away. The 59-yard punt bounced into the end zone for a touchback and the Cowboys took over at their 20. Romo hooked up with Austin on a jailbreak screen and Austin ran it in for the score. Folk added the extra point and Dallas took a 17-0 lead with 33 second left in the second quarter.

TE Tony Stewart fielded the ensuing kickoff and returned it to the Raiders 26. The Raiders moved out to midfield but were unable to score before halftime.

K Sebastian Janikowski's opening kickoff of the second half bounced through the end zone for a touchback. The Cowboys drove to midfield but DE Trevor Scott's second sack of the day helped force a McBriar punt. Higgins called for and made a fair catch at the Raiders 11.

Gradkowski capped the 11-play, 88-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey – Heyward-Bey's first career touchdown reception – and Janikowski added the extra point to cut the Cowboys lead to 17-7 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

The ensuing kickoff was fielded in the end zone for a touchback and Dallas' offense took the field at the 20. The Cowboys drove to midfield before the Raiders forced a punt. Higgins returned the McBriar punt and a penalty backed the Raiders up to their own 5.

The Cowboys held the Raiders to a three-and-out. Lechler's punt was muffed but recovered by the Cowboys at the Dallas 48. The Cowboys took a 24-7 lead with 13:12 left in the game when Romo hit WR Roy Williams from six yards out for the score and Folk tacked on the extra point.

The ensuing kickoff was fielded in the end zone for a touchback and the Raiders offense took the field at the 20. The Cowboys held the Raiders to a three and out and Lechler came on to punt. Crayton returned the punt to the Dallas 28.

The Raiders forced a three and out and McBriar punted to Higgins. After the punt and the return, the Raiders took possession at their 31. The Raiders went three and out and Lechler's punt was downed at the Cowboys 11. The Cowboys drove to the Raiders 41 before the Silver and Black forced a McBriar punt. Higgins called for and made a fair catch at the Raiders 14.

The Raiders drove to the Cowboys 18 but failed to convert a 4th and 6 and Dallas took over with 1:49 left to play.

The Raiders fall to 3-8 on the season and travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, December 6.

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