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On Deck: Raiders

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On Deck: Raiders

AP

Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) rolls out against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Cowboys game during the 2013 season.

The Opponent: Same as last week here for the Cowboys, and it's the way the schedule is laid out for the rest of the year, basically — Dallas should win the game on paper. The Raiders can run the ball and they're pretty good at stopping the run, which is usually a recipe for sure success. But not with this bunch. The Raiders are on their second quarterback in Matt McGloin, who's been serviceable while replacing Terrelle Pryor, but the Cowboys should be a pretty big favorite in this game.

Key Matchup: OAK running backs vs. DAL linebackers: Sean Lee is unlikely to return for Thursday's game, meaning the whipping that is Bruce Carter is likely to still be starting, which is bad news for the Cowboys. Andre Brown had his way with the Dallas run defense in last week's Cowboys win over the Giants, and it's looking like Thursday could be similar. The Raiders have a good running game, and they've been without their star runner Darren McFadden for some time now. He's set to make his return from a hamstring injury Thursday, but the Raiders have gotten some really solid games from backup Rashad Jennings, and the Cowboys should get a heavy dose of both.

Who's Hot: The Cowboys offense did what people have been clamoring for for a long time on Sunday — they leaned on their studs. DeMarco Murray had a great game, tallying 126 total yards (40 receiving) despite still being low on touches. Dez Bryant had nine catches, and Jason Witten scored twice in the red zone. Oh, and Tony Romo led a fantastic last-minute, game-winning drive.

With McFadden expected, the Raiders coaches have made it known that they're still riding the hot hand in Jennings, who put up 122 total yards (49 receiving) in Sunday's loss to Tennessee. With Denarius Moore out, Rod Streater has stepped up and become Matt McGloin's top target in the passing game, and he had 93 receiving yards last week.

Who's Not: The Cowboys defense made some key stops on Sunday but also had some ugly play going on, led by Bruce Carter's and Jeff Heath's inexplicable play on Brandon Myers' touchdown reception. The Cowboys run defense was once again awful, and that could be a problem against a good Oakland running game.

The Raiders pass defense allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to torch them in Sunday's loss to the Titans. Fitzpatrick passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns and the Titans had no turnovers in their 23-19 win.

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