Instant Analysis: Cowboys Win Over Raiders

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 20-17 win over the Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. [[459650663,R]]

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys are 8-6 and they still have a chance to make the playoffs, and they received some help by Green Bay and Seattle losing. They still need Detroit to lose once and Atlanta and Carolina to lose twice, while they win out to make the playoffs. None of that matters unless the Cowboys win their last two games. They’ve won three in a row, and Ezekiel Elliott returns next week against Seattle, which should give the Cowboys an emotional boost as well as a talent infusion.

TURNING POINT: On fourth-and-1 from the Dallas 39 with 4:40 left, coach Jason Garrett opted to go for it. It was an unusual call for Garrett because of the risk involved. If Dallas doesn’t get it, then the Cowboys probably lose. Dak Prescott converted the first down on a quarterback sneak. The play was so close that the referee used an index card to ensure Prescott had made the first down.

Photos: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 2017

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jeff Heath made two sensational plays to clinch the win. On second-and-three from the Dallas 8, Heath made a diving pass deflection in the end zone. On the next play, Heath hit Derek Carr as he dove for the pylon and the Raiders’ quarterback fumbled out of the end zone for a touchback, clinching the win for Dallas.

KEY STAT: The Cowboys had never won a game when Dak Prescott threw two interceptions in a game until Sunday against the Raiders. They had been 0-4.

Photos: Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

WHAT'S NEXT:  The Cowboys will get the bickering Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at AT&T Stadium, and this is probably as good a time as any. The Los Angeles Rams blew out Seattle 42-7 on Sunday, running back Todd Gurley gained 152 yards and scored four touchdowns and afterward safety Earl Thomas and linebacker Bobby Wagner exchanged insults on social media.

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