Only a handful of teams are coming into Thanksgiving with more reason for thanks than the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys. Having earned an impressive road victory Sunday over the New York Giants, Dallas has climbed back into a tie for the top spot in the NFC East, with a good chance to improve their standing today against the 4-7 Oakland Raiders. The reason for that optimism is the Raiders’ poor road record (1-8), and today’s Thanksgiving game is being played in Dallas, which tends to be a hostile environment on turkey day. But where “must-win” games are needed, Dallas QB Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys can’t always be counted on, particularly in these teams’ games, so there’s reason to expect the unexpected. If you’re not sitting in front of your HDTV stuffing your face with turkey at kickoff, you can watch Raiders vs Cowboys online free using one of several different methods.
The Cowboys and Raiders have a history of playing low-scoring and close games, and they often alternate winners. In 2010, the Raiders beat the Cowboys 17-9, followed by a 3-0 Dallas win in 2011 and a 19-17 Raiders win in 2012. History would therefore seem to favor the Cowboys in today’s 4:30 EST / 1:30 PST broadcast on CBS. The Raiders’ own history this season also implies good things for Dallas, as the Raiders have gone 1-4 away from home and had dropped eight straight road games before winning this season against a Houston team that’s still stuck in a nine-game losing streak. It’s OK to beat up on an NFL team while they’re down, but the Cowboys aren’t down after Sunday’s momentum-swinging victory.
Just as important: Dallas has a 4-1 record at AT&T Stadium this season and is averaging an NFC-best 34.6 points on their home turf. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been a huge part of that, regardless of what his critics say. Through 11 games, Romo has completed 262 of 408 passes, throwing for 2,915 yards and 23 touchdowns, and has managed a #15 ranking in ESPN’s QBR quarterback rankings. And although the Cowboys rank 29th in the NFL for rushing this season (just 79.7 yards per game), they gained 107 in their win against the Giants last Sunday, and running back DeMarco Murray has turned the proverbial and literal corner in the past two games, going for 175 yards (5.8 per carry) and scoring a touchdown in each outing. If Murray and Romo can both fire on all cylinders in today’s Thanksgiving game against the Raiders, the Cowboys could be sitting pretty.
But then there’s the “Romo factor” so often cited by the quarterback’s detractors. Every game after the Cowboys have won to go above .500, Dallas has somehow found a way to lose. Granted, all four of those defeats have been on the road, whereas when you watch Raiders vs Cowboys online free the game will be played in Dallas, but it’s still a record to be mindful of.
Complicating matters for the Oakland Raiders is their continued need to play with a backup quarterback after Terrelle Pryor sprained his knee against the Giants. Pryor returned last week as the backup, and he’ll play a backup QB role today against the Cowboys as well. What’s complicated about all this is his replacement — a rookie — will be playing in his first big game: the marquee NFL Thanksgiving game in Dallas. To his credit, though, quarterback Matt McGloin has truly earned his third straight start having thrown four touchdowns and just one interception in his two games taking the starting snaps. McGloin ended Sunday’s game completing 19 of 32 passes for 260 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and he led his team on a go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter before Oakland gave up a game-winning drive to Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
So will momentum or beginner’s luck win out today? That could very well not be known until the very end of the game, with all the late-game heroics that could come into play. You can watch Raiders vs Cowboys online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 4:30 EST / 1:30 PST Thanksgiving NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. Thanksgiving isn’t complete if you can’t watch the Cowboys football game, and if history is any indication, today’s game should be a good one.