Thanksgiving Weekend Football: The Cowboys want to keep up with the top teams in NFC so they need to beat Vegas

By Adam Rauzino

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The Las Vegas Raiders will battle the Dallas Cowboys in the annual Thanksgiving game late Thursday afternoon in Arlington. The Raiders lost a rough one to the Bengals last week. The Cowboys’ offense struggled in a road loss to the Chiefs in their previous action. These foes last met in 2017 in a game Dallas won 20-17.

Raiders Tagged with Third Consecutive Loss

The Las Vegas Raiders’ slide continues. They were 3-0 through the first three clashes of the season and have plummeted to an even 5-5. The Raiders weren’t even close last week, losing 32-13 to the Bengals in a tilt that had Cincy favored by 2.5 points. LV now has dropped three in a row which began with a road loss to the Giants. The squad has only covered in two out of their last eight games.

Derek Carr hasn’t necessarily been terrible in the losing streak but has now tossed five picks in his last four games. The 30-year old QB has eclipsed the 300-yard mark five times this season and has collected 3041 passing yards accompanied by a 16:9 TD to INT ratio.

The Raiders have not been able to generate yards on the ground. Josh Jacobs only has 129 rushing yards in his last three clashes and has 333 yards on the year. Darren Waller leads the squad with 610 receiving yards. The 29-year old tight end brought in a stellar 116 yards last week. The Las Vegas offense has been hit or miss and right now they are struggling, posting just 43 points in their last three games.

The Raiders defense has been poor in consecutive games. The unit surrendered a whopping 41 points to the Chiefs followed by 32 points in last week’s defeat. The pass defense is actually a strength. They contained Joe Burrow last week and rank 10th in the NFL while the rush defense is 29th. Las Vegas is averaging 22.3 points on the season, placing them 19th overall. They are squandering an average of 26.2 points, pegging them 25th in the league.

Cowboys Fall to Chiefs, Lamb Doubtful

The Dallas Cowboys enter this one a loser of two out of its last three games. Fortunately, Dallas has built a large cushion atop the subpar NFC East. The Cowboys lost to Denver earlier this month which marks their lone home defeat of the season. They were labeled 2.5 point dogs in a 19-9 road loss to the Chiefs last week. Dallas has covered the spread in all but two games this year.

Dak Prescott wasn’t at his best last week, squandering two interceptions. Overall the 28-year old QB is having a tremendous season, registering 2557 passing yards along with a 20:7 TD to INT ratio. Prescott has surpassed the 300 yards mark on three occasions this season.

Ezekiel Elliot hasn’t been able to find a groove this season and only has 695 rushing yards on an average of 4.6 yards per carry. The star RB is playing through a knee injury. The good news is Tony Pollard has been stellar and is averaging a remarkable 5.5 yards per rush. Receiving leader CeeDee Lamb exited last week’s game with a concussion and it doesn’t sound like he will play. It’s a significant development considering Amari Cooper is also out of action due to COVID protocol. The Dallas offense might need the running game to step up, especially considering the Raiders’ strong pass defense.

The Cowboys’ defense has been stellar recently and has allowed a total of just 53 points in their last three home games. The defensive play definitely wasn’t to blame last week. The pass defense can be solved, ranking 21st in the NFL while the rush defense is terrific, landing 10th overall. Dallas is third in the NFL with an average of 29.3 points on the season. They are limiting foes to only 21.4 points, good for eighth in the league.

The Raiders should keep this one close. The Cowboys are playing without Amari Cooper and receiving leader CeeDee Lamb. That’s their top two receivers which leaves quite a void in the receiving core. The Raiders pass defense is the squad’s top strength defensively. They are limiting foes to only 220 passing yards per game, good for 10th in the NFL. Also, keep in mind Ezekiel Elliot is playing through a knee injury. 

Furthermore, overall the Cowboys have cooled down a bit recently, losing two out of their last three games including a defeat against the Broncos in their latest home game. Las Vegas has been struggling recently, and the distractions off the field have played a factor, but I expect them to regroup and be ready for this one. The Cowboys will give up yards in the air as the pass defense is tabbed 21st, and Las Vegas is just behind Dallas with an average of 289 passing yards per game.

Prediction: Las Vegas Raiders +7

Written By Adam Rauzino , “Adam Rauzino”

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball, and football. He enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and being an expert sports bettor. Prior to bringing his talents here to Winners and Whiners, Adam graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance. You would do yourself a huge favor by following Adam on a daily basis.