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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Gearing up for the Raiders

Gameday links as the Cowboys host the Raiders on Thanksgiving.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones: QB coach in press box a key change - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
Everybody has an opinion on the Cowboys' revamped offensive play-calling process, but very few people can make a fact-based assessment of the process. Jerry Jones tries to add some facts to the debate (the fool!) by pointing out that the most significant adjustment was moving quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson moving from the sideline to the press box.

"The key there is Wade Wilson," Jones said Wednesday morning on the NFL Network. "Wade Wilson is a seasoned veteran, not only an outstanding NFL player, but he’s been an outstanding coach. We always wanted to figure out somehow how to get his vision, his skill up in that box."

"When you watch the game the way you and I watch it, it’s a different game than right there on the sideline or behind the center as the quarterback. So we had the advantage of having Wade Wilson upstairs looking down on the game, and then he’d relay that in."

Bill Callahan: No 'power struggle' on play calling - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
Callahan clarifies that plays are not being changed en route to the quarterback:

"Nothing has changed in terms of the play calling whatsoever," Callahan said. "There [are] not changes of plays and things like that. Here is what I think everyone needs to understand: There is great communication amongst the offensive coaches. Jason is a part of this process of game planning and being on the sideline during the game. I think he’s just become more active with Tony in that regard because he has been, and rightfully so, he’s had that relationship with him on the sideline in his career and he wanted to get back to that a little bit more, and he should."

"There is no changing of plays and that nature because everything has been laid out as we go into a game. We come in at half and then we’ll tweak it or look at what we want to amend or bring up or possibly showcase a little bit more. But really, there is no changing of plays. There is no power struggle or anything like that."

Tony Romo on why he doesn’t like throwing to a double-covered Dez Bryant - Jon Machota, DMN
Because, Tony Romo says, for every time that you might come down with one you’re going to have an incompletion or a turnover on the next one.

Tony Romo appears on Dec. 2 cover of Sports Illustrated -
Sports Illustrated is preaching to the choir on this one.

"On paper, Romo ranks among the finest," Price writes. "A supposed choker, he has the best fourth-quarter passer rating in the regular season (102.5) of any QB, ever, and his 11 game-winning drives since 2011 — the latest a 14-play march on the road, with Romo connecting on six of nine attempts for 67 yards, in the final 4:45 to set up the winning field goal against the Giants on Sunday — lead the league."

"This season, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound Romo has thrown just seven interceptions while being lodged, as usual, among the NFL leaders in completion percentage (64.2, eighth), TDs (23, fourth) and passer rating (97.2, seventh)."

Tony Romo Shoots for Dallas Cowboys All-Time Passing Touchdown Record - Bloomberg Sports
Tony Romo has a chance to break the Cowboys' all-time single season passing touchdown record this year, a mark he himself set in 2007 with 36 passing TDs. Heading into the game with Oakland, Romo has 23 passing touchdowns on the year, which ranks fourth in the NFL and puts him on pace for 33 TDs, so he'll have to throw a few TDs against the Raiders to get closer to the season record.

Dallas is the most pass-happy team in the NFL - Football Perspective
Well folks, that's it; we can all go home now: Our most heavily guarded secret is out.

The Cowboys are absurdly pass-happy, a fact of which anyone who reads this article every week is well aware. The rest of the top five yields no surprises, either: Denver, New Orleans, Miami, and Atlanta are all very pass-happy, something covered in this space quite often.

Thanksgiving prep: Challenges abound for teams on short week -
Brian Billick provides a perspective on what a short week means for a team's preparation.

Jason Witten: Master of the 1-yard line no more - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
In the past, the Cowboys have arguably underutilized Jason Witten in the red zone. But that seems to have changed this year, as Witten already has six TDs. More importantly, he isn't getting tackled at the 1-yard line anymore.

"He’s made some plays, not only close to the end zone but also from out a little bit, which has been a positive thing," Jason Garrett said. "You know, for a number of years, Witt was the master of getting tackled at the 1. The players used to kill him on it. But he’s found his way to get in the end zone a little bit more."

DeMarcus Ware says he is 97 percent healthy - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
97 percent is not 100 percent, so that's not so good. But is it enough?

Terrance Williams ready for return duty - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Williams will be the primary kick returner in Dwayne Harris' absence.

TE Gavin Escobar surprise addition to injury report - Tom Orsborn, Express-News
The Cowboys listed TE Gavin Escobar as questionable on yesterday's injury report, after he was limited in practice with a hamstring injury. If Escobar is unable to play today, and with the Browns claiming TE Andre Smith off waivers, the Cowboys may be left with only two tight ends for their game against the Raiders.

Cowboys face double whammy on Thanksgiving - Tom Orsborn, Express-News
The Cowboys will be wearing their blue jerseys today and Tony Romo will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Some people apparently freak out over this.

Raiders' Darren McFadden to play against Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day - Contra Costa Times
Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden went through a light practice Wednesday and will play against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day

RaiderDamus' Thanksgiving Foretelling: Raiders vs Cowboys - Silver And Black Pride
What does the Great Beyond have to say regarding the Raiders' feast or famine on this Turkey Day? This:

This game won't be a smorgasbord of goodness cooked up by Papa McGloin and crew. It will be the cold leftovers of the same turd buffet we had on Sunday.

Cowboys win, 31-16.

Tom Coughlin delivers message to Giants: Stop talking! -
Three days after the game, it seems that they still haven't.

Redskins could be officially eliminated from playoff contention this weekend - Washington Post
Good to hear.

Shanahan: Players know that at 3-8, they’re playing for their jobs - Pro Football Talk
This of course comes from a man who just three months ago said that "anything short of the Super Bowl is a failure."

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