What a horrible ending on Thanksgiving Day with a long, stressful matchup between the Cowboys and Raiders.
Two of the top two most penalized teams battled in overtime down to the wire as the Raiders squeezed a 36-33 victory over Dallas.
Had the Cowboys pulled out the victory, it would be less controversy and would be a much happier ending to everyone’s evening.
Let’s dissect this one key stat, in particular, that killed the Cowboys from taking the lead in the NFC conference.
Anthony Brown’s four pass interference penalties
This was by far a record-breaking stat that led to the Raiders victory on Turkey Day as he was flagged for four interference calls.
What is even crazier is that all third down plays extended drives for Las Vegas.
Anthony Brown’s 4 pass interference penalties accounted for 91 yards & led to 20 points for Las Vegas.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) November 26, 2021
All four of his penalties led to 20 of the Raiders’ 36 points.
Without those flags, the defense only gives up 16 points the entire game.
That is a huge swing, and the Cowboys most definitely win the game had it not been so many penalties throughout the game.
Raiders-Cowboys was the first NFL game in 18 years in which both teams had 14+ penalties and 100+ penalty yards.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) November 26, 2021
Another stat that has not happened in 18 seasons was the Raiders-Cowboys game as the most combined penalties with 28 (14 each).
What was supposed to be an exciting and fun matchup turned into facetime for the referees, as they were on TV more than the actual game.
9 out of 10 times a game will result in a loss if you have over 100 yards in penalties.
If Dallas wants to get back on track in December, Brown and many others will need to be more disciplined.
Lack of a running game
Cowboys started at 6-1 but since has lost 3 of the last 4 in which the offense struggled to have an identity.
This is largely due to the lack of efficient running as the play-calling has been a bit vanilla since Denver laid out the blueprint.
Other than the LA Chargers, the Cowboys have lost against the other AFC West teams.
During these losses, Dallas has not eclipsed 100 yards rushing as a team, which has made the offense one-dimensional.
The team has a 26-0 record when they have for running plays than pass attempts.
Too many times, Kellen Moore has abandoned the run and tries to win games with Dak Prescott’s arm.
Since Prescott’s calf injury, he has not been accurately throwing the ball, and his footwork and mechanics have been shaky.
Ezekiel Elliott may now be out next Thursday against the Saints as he is dealing with a knee injury.
Tony Pollard showed yesterday he is capable of making plays when he is allowed to do so.
The great thing is Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb, and Demarcus Lawrence will be making their returns next Thursday.
This will give Dallas some much-needed firepower on offense and defense.
Hopefully, with these star players returning, Moore will be more confident in his play-calling.
The Cowboys still have six games left on their schedule so right now is not the time to panic.
Dallas is currently 7-4 but they have to fix their issues quickly if they want to be in the playoffs.
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