Dallas Cowboys best the Raiders by paper-thin margin

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 17: Dak Prescott
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 17: Dak Prescott /

The Dallas Cowboys bested the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, moving to 8-6 and staying alive in the NFC playoff chase.

A win is a win and despite the ugly performance, the Dallas Cowboys added one more “W” to their record on Sunday. Credit the coaching staff for taking some gambles and the Raiders for making some mistakes.

For more on this, here are this week’s quick takes:

Dan Ruppert Quick Takes

One of the craziest games I can remember in recent memory, the Dallas Cowboys saved their chances to get into the playoffs. There were so many missed opportunities that the Cowboys won in spite of themselves. Now that they get Ezekiel Elliott back for the last two games, the Cowboys have a chance to win out and possibly even sneak into the playoffs.

What concerns me is how anemic the offense looks for stretches. Dak looks inaccurate at times and there isn’t a lot of separation. Having Elliott back should open up the passing game a little, but Dak has to start throwing better or it won’t matter. The health of Tyron Smith will play a huge role moving forward, and Garrett must game plan accordingly.

On defense, Anthony Hitchens being out is a concern, and the secondary has to work on its hands. I’m not sure why there hasn’t been many sacks lately, but Oakland does have a pretty good offensive line. Zeke will also help the defense if he can help the offense control the clock.

Gene Steratore made another questionable call regarding a catch, used a folded piece of paper for a first down, and had a few strange missed calls. However, the Cowboys walk away with a win and will get a boost from Zeke. They need some help, but they are poised to keep up their end of the bargain.

Oh, and I think we should call this game either “The Paper Game” or “The Touchback”

Dink Kearney Quick Takes

As expected, the Dallas Cowboys played another highly contested, close game. I’ll say one more time, the Dallas Cowboys are the best reality show on television. Period. No other sports team or television series can create the drama like the Cowboys. The game against the Oakland Raiders is proof as the Cowboys won on critical play that never goes their way.

When David Carr ran with the ball and appeared he was going to score, safety Jeff Heath made the play of the game when he hit Carr as he reached for the goal line. The ball was knocked loose and out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback. Because of that, the Cowboys won in dramatic fashion, 20-17.

More from Sports Dallas Fort-Worth

But this game should not have been close to begin with. The Cowboys jumped out to a 10-0 lead but allowed the Raiders to come back in the game. For starters, the Cowboys wide receivers are inconsistent with catching the ball. Besides Jason Witten, the rest of the Cowboys receivers drop way too many ball, especially Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. I will no longer make excuses for Dez because he drops too many passes and he runs bad routes. Dak Prescott’s first interception is because of Dez giving up on a route. Williams needs to learn how to catch with his hands and not his body. He drops at least one pass a game.

The Cowboys defense is just as bad. Only they’re dropping interceptions.

The Cowboys defense had the opportunity to record three interceptions and missed on all of them. Defensive back Anthony Brown had an interception in his hand and dropped it. If he intercepts the ball, it’s a pick-6. Brown has missed on several interceptions this season. Also, this defense needs David Irving back because Carr was able to stand in the pocket and complete several passes. It’s another reason why I don’t like the Cover 2 scheme is because you need a dominant front 4. And the Cowboys don’t have it without Irving

Next: Week 15 Playoff Odds for the Cowboys

Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan are the primary reasons why the Cowboys are 8-6. There is no creativity in the offense, the offense is predictable, and none of the players are held accountable. Until that’s fixed, every Cowboys game will end in dramatic fashion.