2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Romo, Cowboys top Raiders 31-24 after slow start

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-29 02:32

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Tony Romo had a virus, and his offense was looking a little pale too.

The Dallas quarterback changed everything with one quick drive just before halftime.

Romo directed a momentum-turning march to the second of three touchdowns for DeMarco Murray, backup Lance Dunbar led the Cowboys with a career-high 82 yards rushing and Dallas overcame the shock of Oakland's fumble return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff to beat the Raiders 31-24 on Thursday.

After getting sick the night before Thanksgiving, Romo found himself behind 7-0 before taking his first snap, and his offense didn't have a yard in the second quarter when he took the field down 21-7 with less than 2 minutes remaining before halftime.

Five completions from Romo later, Murray scored on a 4-yard run 10 seconds before halftime and set the stage for a second-half rally that put the Cowboys (7-5) two games above .500 for the first time since late last season.

Dallas is at least temporarily ahead of Philadelphia (6-5) atop the NFC East.

''Teams can go one of two ways there,'' Romo said. ''And I'm just proud of the guys the way they committed and kept grinding and getting better and better throughout the game.''

Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie quarterback making his third career start, had a strong first half for the Raiders.

But without much help from the league's fifth-best rushing attack, his offense stalled in the second half as Oakland (4-8) clinched an 11th straight season without a winning record since going to the Super Bowl during the 2002 season.

''I don't know if he played as well as he did in some of the previous weeks, but I still thought he did some good things,'' said Raiders coach Dennis Allen, the league's youngest head coach making his first appearance near the Dallas suburb of Hurst, where he grew up.

Five things to consider after the Cowboys won the second straight Thanksgiving meeting between these teams.

SHOCKING START: Dallas was without kick returner Dwayne Harris because of a hamstring injury, and rookie replacement Terrance Williams gave the Raiders a touchdown with a fumble on the opening kickoff. Greg Jenkins picked up the ball at the 23 after it squirted away from the pile and outran everyone to the pylon. The play was upheld on review after replay showed Williams' knee hitting the turf just as the ball was coming out. ''To have the opening kickoff fumbled and returned for a touchdown and then be down a couple of scores in the first half, nobody blinked,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

SURPRISING RUN TOTALS: Oakland's Rashad Jennings rushed for 35 yards on 17 carries - a 2.1-yard average - and had both of Oakland's offensive touchdowns on 1-yard runs. Darren McFadden carried just five times for 13 yards in his return after missing three games with a hamstring injury. The Raiders finished with 50 yards rushing - 1 more than their season low - while the Cowboys came with the league's 29th-ranked rushing offense and had 144 yards on the ground, their second-best total of the year. ''We didn't tackle,'' Raiders linebacker Kevin Burnett said. ''We would hit them in the backfield, and we'd have six guys round them and we'd let them go.''

COWBOYS TANDEM: Murray had just 25 yards after his third TD, but ran for another 38 to finish with 63 and help Dallas burn the clock with a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. Most of the late damage came on a drive to Dan Bailey's 19-yard field goal to put Dallas up by 10 with 1:56 left. Murray, who tied the score at 7-all on a 2-yard run the first play after a fumble by McGloin late in the first quarter, also had 39 yards receiving. Dunbar, who went out with a left knee sprain in the fourth quarter, sparked the tying and go-ahead touchdown drives in the second half, highlighted by a 45-yard run that led to a 4-yard scoring pass from Romo to Dez Bryant, who had seven catches for 61 yards.

CAREER DAY: Andre Holmes, who played seven games for the Cowboys last year before ending up on the practice squad, had career highs with seven catches for 136 yards. He had only three catches for 65 yards in his first five games for the Raiders. He was a big part of McGloin converting five straight third downs with passes on a pair of touchdown drives in the second quarter. He had a 16-yard score overturned on review, but Jennings scored from the 1 on the next play. ''It felt good,'' Holmes said. ''I had a calendar, I checked it, wanted to come here and play well against the team I played for.''

INJURY UPDATE: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he didn't think Dunbar's knee injury was serious, and the Cowboys have 10 days off before playing Chicago on Dec. 9. Raiders guard Mike Brisiel injured a knee on Oakland's first offensive play and didn't return. Oakland cornerback Mike Jenkins, who spent his first five seasons with the Cowboys, had a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and a forced fumble before leaving with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group