Short-handed? You wouldn’t know it.
The Las Vegas Raiders and Dallas Cowboys played without their top pass catchers in the second game of Thursday’s NFL triple-header, yet eventually still put on a heck of an offensive show.
The Raiders won it 36-33 in overtime.
Derek Carr threw 39 times for 373 yards and a touchdown for Las Vegas, while Dak Prescott threw 47 times for 375 yards and two scores for Dallas. Neither passer was intercepted.
Carr lost his favourite target, tight end Darren Waller, early. He left with a knee injury and did not return.
Prescott was without both CeeDee Lamb (concussion) and Amari Cooper (COVID-19/reserve). They are the Cowboys’ most prolific wide receivers.
The Cowboys offence struggled in the first half, but Prescott got hot after halftime. By game’s end, when you add in all the rushing yards, the two teams combined for nearly a thousand total yards — 946.
That said, it was a 33-yard gain on a single penalty, in overtime, that as much decided the game.
Shortly after Dallas won the OT toss but quickly punted, the Raiders faced a 3rd-and-18 from their own 43-yard line. Carr launched a deep pass to wideout Zay Jones. Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown blatantly interfered with Jones’ attempt to snare the pass at the Dallas 24-yard line, and two officials threw flags.
It was the fourth time Brown was flagged for PI in the game.
That penalty — a third of the field in length — put the Raiders in instant game-winning field-goal position for Daniel Carlson. A few plays later he split the uprights with a 29-yard field goal.
Las Vegas snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 6-5.
Dallas lost for the second time in five days, and third time in its past four games in falling to 7-4, still comfortably ahead of the second-place 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.
“Tough one to swallow,” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said.
Especially for second-year head coach Mike McCarthy, whose team looked lethargic for a large chunk of another home game — and for the second straight Thanksgiving Day game.
McCarthy afterward seemed miffed about all the penalties called in the game: 14 on each team, totaling 276 yards.
“Twenty-eight penalties. I don’t know what the hell you want me to say,” McCarthy said.