The Dallas Cowboys will hope to switch to the winning lane when they face the Las Vegas Raiders this Thursday afternoon following a disheartening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
The contest was one that was expected to be a high-scoring affair but it was far from that, offering up a meager 19-9 scoreline as defenses ran the show. Star Quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes were both put on short leashes and, while Mahomes was the better of the two, he was kept in check and wasn't permitted a single touchdown. Prescott, on the other hand, was manhandled by the Chiefs' defense as Chris Jones and L'Jarius Sneed had their way with him.
Neither QB was allowed to be the focus of the game, which was fine by the Chiefs as long as they won. The 2020 Super Bowl winners must have been pleased with the performance nonetheless as they know full well they can't win every game in style. The Chiefs are now 7-4 to top the AFC West but the Cowboys still boast a pretty neat 7-3 record.
Why the Cowboys lost could be attributed to a few things. For one, Prescott overthrew a number of passes while his intended targets mostly failed to live up to their side of the deal, dropping catches when the ball did find them.
That set the tone for the rest of the game and it didn't help that the officials didn't see things their way. At one point during the third quarter, they could have closed the gap to three points but for the non-DPI call that would have pushed them to the one-yard line. The decision didn't go their way, controversially.
As noted before, the defense did a stellar job. That was the case throughout the game as they kept Mahomes to 14 completions and an interception while denying him any TDs. Rookie Micah Parsons had himself quite a game, making a pair of sacks and forcing a fumble amid what has been a terrific first season in the pros. But that was hardly enough to win them the game as the offense refused to make use of the opportunities.
The Cowboys would have loved to hold the Chiefs to 19 points coming into the game, especially as they were without Randy Gregory, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Neville Gallimore. They would have assumed they'd win if they knew they would have caused Kansas City to bomb on eight of 12 third-down conversions. The defense did its job. The offense, unfortunately, did not.
The crew tasked with coming up with points failed miserably, barely sputtering for the second time in the Cowboys' last three games. They were only good for three field goals and could not convert on 10 of their 15 third-down chances. They also gave the ball away on three occasions.
Dallas even came out on top in the time of possession category but the offense simply refused to make use of all the opportunities.
They will be looking to make good on Thursday, a day that marks Thanksgiving for nearly everyone else – as long as the game lasts, at least. It's nothing new to the Cowboys, who have been playing every third Thursday in November. The Raiders will be the ones who oblige this year.
Apart from getting into that turkey, lots of football fans will be looking to get some punts in and the NFL betting forum will be abuzz. The Cowboys are, of course, the favorites to win Thursday's game at 2/7 while Las Vegas is 11/4. Betting stats from the most popular online betting sites show that bets are evenly split on this one heading into the contest.
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions will also be in action on the day, with the Bears favored at 20/33 and the Lions at 29/20. Most fans are going with the underdog Lions. The Buffalo Bills play the New Orleans Saints and are going into the game attached to 5/13 odds while the latter is 43/20.
The Cowboys will be hosting the Raiders at AT&T Stadium for the first time since 2013 and this will be the first time they will be playing them since they moved to Vegas.
The Raiders are also coming off of a loss, as are all of the other teams playing on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys couldn't manage a single touchdown vs. the Chiefs but fans will expect to see top performances from Prescott, as well as Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Gallup. CeeDee Lamb's status is still unclear but Amari Cooper won't be involved as he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list before the game against the Chiefs, much to the frustration of owner Jerry Jones.
Parsons, meanwhile, will be keen on making life very difficult for Raiders QB Derek Carr after wreaking havoc in Kansas.