Coming off one of their best wins of the season, the Dallas Cowboys have gone through a shortened week. On Thursday the Oakland Raiders will travel to AT&T Stadium to face the 6-5 Cowboys. The Cowboys are getting healthy at the right time after their week 11 bye week. The Cowboys were able to rest up DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, Miles Austin, J.J. Wilcox, and Morris Claiborne. But against the Giants, Morris Claiborne suffered a setback, which made the second-year corner leave the game. Here’s an injury report for the Cowboys below:
- Sean Lee
-The former Nittany Lion was having a stellar season before he went down in week 10 against the New Orleans Saints. The original prognosis was 3-4 weeks for his hamstring injury. Two and a half weeks have gone by, and Sean Lee is very confident for a return on Thanksgiving. Jerry Jones has shot down the remark by Lee, by saying Sean Lee should stay on the shelf for another year.
- Morris Claiborne
-Claiborne wasn’t able to finish out the game against the Giants. He could very well be inactive come Thursday because of his hamstring injury. The former LSU Tiger has had a very up-and-down year with his inability to stay healthy. The Cowboys signed Sterling Moore, to bolster the cornerback position.
- Dwayne Harris
-Many don’t see how big of an impact Dwayne Harris has on this team. One of the most consistent and most productive things the Cowboys have is their special teams play. Dallas is ranked in the top 5 in both punt return and kick return average. Harris is also an excellent gunner on punt coverage. If Harris can make an impact, his hamstring injury may hold him to just offensive snaps.
To many, the Cowboys are playing a very favorable opponent against the Raiders. Oakland may very well still be 4-7 in last place of the AFC West, they have played very well against some very formidable opponents. The Raiders have seemed to abandoned Terrelle Pryor with the good play of Matt McGloin. McGloin is an undrafted rookie out of Penn
State. McGloin makes good reads and is a high IQ football player that can make plays. When NFL fans think of the Raiders’ offense, Darren McFadden comes to mind. But in fact, McFadden has lost his starting job to Rashad Jennings. With the snaps he has been given, Jennings has took off with the starting job. Since Jennings was the starter for the injured McFadden, Jennings had the most yards from scrimmage out of any player in the NFL. Denarius Moore was out last week with a shoulder injury. Moore remains questionable this week with the same injury. But, all signs point to him playing on Thursday.
The Raiders do have some quality players across their roster. Lamarr Houston has had a quietly excellent year with the Raiders. Houston has 5 sacks, along with 50 sacks. Another guy that could make an impact is Tracy Porter. Porter has 11 pass deflections in 2013, and two interceptions, one was returned for a touchdown. The Raiders also have future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and D.J. Hayden, who Oakland’s first pick in April’s draft.
This game isn’t a cakewalk whatsoever, as Cowboy fans have seen in the past with this team. Think back to Dallas’ week 9 matchup versus the Vikings, where Dallas was supposed to run over Minnesota. But instead, the Cowboys needed a game-winning drive from Tony Romo to win the game. If the Cowboys win this game, they will be sitting pretty atop the NFC East at 7-5. The Eagles have a tough matchup on Sunday when they play the Cardinals in Philadelphia. With only 5 games remaining on the Cowboys’ schedule, each game is crucial for determining which team will come out of the NFC East.