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(Thursday, November 26th)
Final Score: Dallas 24, Oakland 7
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Tony Romo threw for 309 yards and a pair of scores, as the Dallas Cowboys' offense got back on track in a 24-7 rout of the Oakland Raiders.
Romo finished 18-for-29 with no interceptions for Dallas (8-3), which had scored just seven points in each of its last two games. The Cowboys dropped a 17-7 decision to Green Bay on November 15 before needing a late touchdown pass on Sunday to take a 7-6 win over Washington.
Miles Austin caught seven passes for 145 yards and a score for the NFC East- leading Cowboys, while Jason Witten recorded 107 yards on five receptions. Roy Williams had a touchdown catch, while Felix Jones ran for a score in the win.
"The passing game that we were worried about offensively really came through," Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said. "I thought we made too many big plays that hurt them."
Bruce Gradkowski was 18-of-35 for 200 yards and a touchdown in his second consecutive start for Oakland (3-8), having led the Raiders to a last-minute victory over Cincinnati on Sunday.
Rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey recorded the TD catch, the first of his career.
"They were so explosive offensively," Raiders head coach Tom Cable said. "We weren't able to get in any kind of rhythm defensively and contain it. Offensively, we had a lot of opportunities, but not enough completions. That's the tale of the game."
Against the Packers and Redskins, Dallas did not score a point in the first three quarters of each contest. But the Cowboys raced out to a lead Thursday, scoring 17 in the first half.
Dallas punted on its first two possessions, but got on the scoreboard late in the opening quarter. On the first play of a drive that began with 3:31 to go, Tashard Choice took a direct snap and ran 66 yards to the Oakland 11.
However, the Cowboys were called for holding on the next play, and Nick Folk eventually kicked a 36-yard field goal with 39 seconds remaining.
Early in the second, the Cowboys took over at their own 11 and faced a 3rd- and-11. But Romo found Austin for an 11-yard gain, and two plays later the quarterback went to Austin again for 27 yards, bringing the ball across midfield.
On the next play, Jones found a hold in the middle of the line, shifted his path once and took off for the end zone. He shook off a defender inside the 10 and made it across the goal line for a 46-yard TD, making it a 10-0 game with 10:48 to play.
Folk missed a 49-yarder on Dallas' next series, but the Cowboys found the end zone once more before the break.
After taking over with 4:28 on the clock, they went 80 yards in seven plays, one of which was a 14-yard catch by Austin just inside the two-minute warning that was initially ruled a touchdown.
He made the catch and appeared not to touch the ground as he was spun around by a tackler, then raced for the end zone. However, a booth review found that Austin was down by contact, giving the Cowboys a first-and-goal at the eight.
Austin officially got the touchdown on second down, as Romo found him for the nine-yard score with 31 seconds left, and Dallas took a 17-0 lead into halftime.
Oakland cracked the scoreboard on its first possession of the third quarter, as Gradkowski ended a long drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Heyward- Bey. The 11-play, 88-yard progression lasted more than seven minutes.
But the Raiders got no closer, as Romo's six-yard TD pass to Williams over the middle made it a 24-7 game less than two minutes into the fourth, and Oakland didn't get across midfield on its next two drives.
"It's always nice when you go into the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead that you feel you can maintain," Romo said.
The game was played with the roof open...The Cowboys have won five of their last six on Thanksgiving, including four in a row...Gradkowski lost one fumble...Dallas totaled 494 yards, compared to 305 for Oakland...Raiders defensive end Trevor Scott had two sacks, while Anthony Spencer had two for the Cowboys.
11/26 23:31:33 ET
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