Dallas is 6-1 against the spread at home lately so take them to do it again against these lost Raiders.
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It was obvious by the tone of Las Vegas Raider QB Derek Carr’s voice in his press conference that he is unhappy with his team’s .500 record after getting whooped by the Bengals, 13-32, in Week 11 while losing more yards to penalties (77) than they gained rushing (72), a sign that the off the field drama could be catching up to them and they must shed that before Arlington.
Last week Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys and their number one ranked offense could not score a touchdown in a loss to the Chiefs and now with two major passing targets listed as questionable – Amari Cooper (COVID-19) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion) – it could be up to Dallas’ top-5 run game to dominate the Raiders during this Thanksgiving Day Week 12 matchup.
These two cross-conference rivals have played each other 12 prior times, with the Dallas Cowboys winning 6 of those games and the Las Vegas Raiders winning 6 of the games.
The Las Vegas Raiders are on a three-game losing streak, so it is no wonder that the media talking heads and fans are predicting their downfall, but they still have a top-10 offense and a franchise quarterback, Derek Carr, who is also a committed team leader.
What might be holding back this team is their 16th ranked defense that allows opponents to gain over 350 yards per game, their ability to stop the run their weakest link, ranked 28th against a rushing attack after allowing enemies to gain over 130 yards per game on the ground.
Due to off-the-field drama, the Raiders now have an interim head coach, Rich Bisaccia, and he must figure out how to plug up whatever defensive holes this sinking ship is suffering from, and team leaders like DE Maxx Crosby need to continue to lead by example.
With Dallas’ top two receivers listed as questionable for Thursday – Amari Cooper (COVID-19), CeeDee Lamb (concussion) – as well as the team’s best RB, Ezekiel Elliott (knee), the next man up mentality must take over for this group or else they risk getting snuffed by an underdog.
The Cowboys have been bitten by the injury bug this season with over a dozen players now listed as being on injured reserve, so head coach Mike McCarthy must utilize his backups wisely here and create a game plan that takes advantage of those playmakers who are still healthy.
That means a big game for players like wide receiver Michael Gallup and the pass-catching tight end Dalton Schultz, plus the defense led by linebacker Micah Parson must create some turnovers to keep the Cowboys in the game.
Now in his second season with the Las Vegas Raiders, star tight end Darren Waller is as close to a “Rob Gronkowski” as a team not based in Tampa can get – a hard blocking, pass-catching, tough to tackle multi-purpose playmaker who is dangerous in the red zone.
Waller is a 6’ 6” 256 pound athlete who this season has caught 51 passes off 79 targets for 610 yards and 2 touchdowns, the type of receiver who can win battles for contested catches and earn extra yards after every catch.
For the last two seasons, Waller has caught for 1,100+ yards and in 2020 he posted 9 touchdowns so he can get in the endzone if given the chance, and on Thanksgiving Day expect him to be targeted early and often by QB Carr.
Right now the Dallas Cowboys star running back Zeke Elliott is listed as questionable due to a knee injury so keep an eye on his availability since he will most likely be a last-minute coach’s decision on game day.
Elliott is a key part of Dallas’ offense, his patience giving him the ability to find the right holes to get through and his speed, agility, and stiff arm making him tough to tackle at all times, a production machine that needs to be fed carries, especially at the end of the game.
This season Elliott has carried the ball 151 times for 695 yards and 7 touchdowns in 10 games, so watch for him to add to those numbers in this matchup against a Raiders defense that’s ranked 28th against the run, the perfect way for Zeke to feast on Thanksgiving.
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|Raiders vs Cowboys Information|
|Teams||Las Vegas Raiders vs Dallas Cowboys|
|Location||AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas|
|Time||Thursday, November 25, 2021; 4:30 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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