Who doesn't love Thanksgiving? Family, food, and Dallas Cowboys football. I am especially thankful this year as we can all zoom right past the tough loss the Cowboys took on Sunday in Kansas City. The Cowboys have turned the page as well as all eyes are now on the reeling Las Vegas Raiders who have lost their last three games. The one thing we do know about Thanksgiving football is Dallas is going to get their opponent’s best on a worldwide stage, so regardless of records, the Cowboys better be locked in and ready to battle it out with this Raiders team.
This game could be a sneaky big game for this Cowboys team. 8-3 looks a lot better than 7-4 with losses in three out of your last four games. The Cowboys will look to steady the ship as they close out November and head into the home stretch of the season, but before they do that they will need to finish their plate on Thanksgiving first.
You can look at all three phases of both these teams and convincingly state that there is an X-Factor on all three units. However, these two individuals, one a Cowboy, one a Raider, will have the biggest impact on Thursday’s game.
Dallas Cowboys X-Factor:
The belief is that Tyron Smith will be back for this week’s showdown, and it would be an absolutely welcomed sight. The Cowboys struggled on Sunday in Kansas City to protect Dak Prescott, and in return the offense never quite got into rhythm versus a tough Chiefs team.
Look for Tyron Smith to come in and bring some stability to Dak’s blind side. The Raiders have a tough pass rush headlined by Maxx Crosby, but this could be the first time the Cowboys deploy all five offensive line starters this season. How healthy Tyron Smith is will play into his performance, but if he is able to play as he is capable of, there is no reason why this Cowboys offense cant get rolling on Thursday. Getting Tyron Smith back is the biggest X-Factor the Cowboys have had in a while and it will be massive for the team to get the big man back and playing well again.
Las Vegas Raiders X-Factor:
The Las Vegas Raiders, just like the rest of the league, know how high-powered this Cowboys offense can be. The formula for beating high-powered offenses is by controlling the clock and keeping them off the field. Typically that is done with a good running game and a back that is capable of carrying the load.
The Raiders will look to Josh Jacobs to be that guy. The Cowboys will need to contain the Raiders running game, limit the gash plays, and force the Raiders into distance situations where they need to throw medium or long passes. If the Raiders are able to control the line of scrimmage and get busy with Jacobs, the Raiders could keep themselves in this game long enough to pull the upset. Look for Dallas to key on Josh Jacobs and limit his runs as they force Derek Carr and his weapons to try and beat them. A good running game and a quality running back is always a challenge, but even more so when you are dealing with as many injuries as the Cowboys are on the defensive line, and that's why it is easy to see why Josh Jacobs is the Las Vegas Raiders X-Factor for this week.