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Cowboys, Raiders meet in Oakland Sunday night
By: Staff Writer - StatFox
Published: 12/14/2017  at  8:30:00 PM
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DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6)
at OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-7)

O.co Coliseum – Oakland, CA
Kickoff: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Line: Dallas -3.0, Total: 45.5

Both the Cowboys and the Raiders will be desperate for victories when the teams meet in Oakland on Sunday.

Last week, Dallas went into New York and came away with a 30-10 victory as a four-point road favorite. That was the Cowboys’ second consecutive win-and-cover, and this team needs to keep it up for the remainder of the year. The Cowboys are currently fighting for a playoff spot, and they can’t afford to lose many more games. The same can be said for the Raiders, though. Oakland is now 6-7 and the team knows that it needs to finish the year at 9-7 in order to even have a shot at getting into the postseason. With that being the case, expect the Raiders to play with some serious intensity in this one. One trend that stands out in Dallas’ favor is the fact that the team is 18-9 ATS in non-conference games under head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys are also facing a Raiders team that is just 2-9 ATS in home games versus defenses that allow a completion percentage of 61% or worse under Jack Del Rio. Fortunately for Oakland, the Cowboys are also a miserable 28-41 ATS as favorite under Garrett. That means something is due to change on Sunday. It’s worth noting that the Cowboys are still without RB Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys will not have WR Amari Cooper.

If the Cowboys are going to find a way to win in Oakland on Sunday then the team will need QB Dak Prescott to have a good game. Fortunately for Dallas, Prescott is coming off of a very good performance against the Giants. In that one, he threw for 332 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. He has now thrown for five touchdowns and no interceptions over the past two weeks, and it’s important that he continues to play mistake-free football moving forward. This is a very beatable secondary he’s going up against on Sunday, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to put up some big numbers here either. Having WR Dez Bryant should help, and Bryant is coming off of two good games in a row for Dallas. He has caught touchdowns in each of the past two and has a great chance of making it three in a row here. RB Alfred Morris can help the passing game by finding some success on the ground. This Dallas offensive line is still good, so there will be holes. Defensively, the Cowboys need to find a way to slow down Michael Crabtree. If they can do that then they should be okay in this one.

The Raiders are going to need a lot of help in order to make the playoffs, but none of that will even matter if they can’t win on Sunday. Oakland absolutely must win this one at home, and the team should feel pretty decent about its chances. The Cowboys are a good football team, but they’re nothing spectacular. QB Derek Carr must, however, be ready to go in this one. Carr has not had a good season for the Raiders, and he has been especially disappointing as of late. Over the past five games, Carr has thrown for just six touchdowns total. He has just 18 touchdown passes on the year, which is shocking after the year he had last year. Carr has, however, been playing with an injured back, so it’s very possible that is the reason he is struggling. Still, the team needs him to find a way to deliver in this one, and he’d be wise to target WR Michael Crabtree as often as possible. It’d also be great for Oakland if the running game can get going here. RB Marshawn Lynch has ran well recently, as he has rushed for five touchdowns over the past five games. If he can run for something like 70 yards and a touchdown then the Raiders should have a good shot in this game.

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