It was a game that both the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders needed to win as they nurse fading hopes for the playoffs. It would come down to the last seconds of the game, and take a nearly miraculous play at the end of the game to give the Cowboys a badly needed 20-17 win. It was a real heartbreaker for the Raiders to lose it the way they did, but Dallas will take it as they remain alive in the playoff hunt, however faintly.
As will be in just about every story you read tonight about the game, it featured what is arguably the closest measurement ever for a first down. At their own 39, with only 5:06 left in a tie game, the Cowboys went for it on fourth and one. In a game where Jason Garrett was not afraid to do much of anything, Dallas went with a quarterback sneak.
This game stated out much like last week in Kansas City for the Raiders. The Cowboys moved into scoring position on each of their first three drives to take an early 10-0 lead while the Raiders had a net 7 yards of offense. The only highlight for the Raiders was a gift interception to Sean Smith on a high pass from Dak Prescott.
It wasn’t until the waning seconds of the first half that the Raiders were able to go on a drive. They moved to the 11-yard-line with :14 seconds remaining where Derek Carr threw a strike over the middle to Jared Cook for the touchdown. But Cook was flagged for a highly questionably offensive pass interference to wipe it away. Giorgio Tavecchio lined up for a 39-yard field goal and is missed wide left as time expired and the Raiders were held without points, still down 10-0 at the half.
Things turned around for the Raiders in the third quarter.
Dak Prescott has his sixth rushing touchdown of the season. Dak Prescott has had a tough outing in the Black Hole but he just put up six as he takes it in to give the Cowboys a seven point lead. Dak has now tied his rushing touchdowns from his rookie season at six.
Dak!@dallascowboys take the lead, 17-10. #DALvsOAK #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.
Chris Jones runs it on fourth down and 11 yards…He gets it! Chris Jones took it himself on a fourth down and he got it and a lot more! Took some gusto by the coaches to call that one so deep in your own territory.
The fake punt by Chris Jones! #DALvsOAK pic.twitter.
Florida State defensive coordinator target Jim Leavitt will remain at Oregon, agreeing to a new deal worth $1.7 million per year over the next four years, per Bruce Feldman. Yes, you read that right. In comparison, Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal makes $2.5 million — only a difference of $800,000, annually.
Leavitt was expected to join new head coach Willie Taggart at Florida State, however a fluid situation and a contract offer of those proportions ultimately led to a change.
Leavitt’s salary will be among the top coordinators at any school in the nation, and at 61, he boasts extensive experience. He’s been an assistant at Kansas State and Colorado, as well as with the San Francisco 49ers, and he was the head coach at South Florida from 1997-2009.
At Oregon, Leavitt oversaw a defensive turnaround that is beyond impressive.
The Titans found another way to lose Sunday, in a game that could have provided them immense leverage in the AFC wild card race. The offense, led by Marcus Mariota, was better, yet lingering bad habits continued. The defense displayed its familiar “bend don’t break” style, but were consequently punished by the goulden leg of Robbie Gould.
Here are some takeaways and musings:
Mariota Bounces Back (Mostly)
Mariota finished the day 23/33 (69.7%) passing with 2 TDs, 0 INTs, and a passer rating of 110.8. While the team’s list of offseason question marks continues to grow, I thought Mariota’s overall performance was good enough to silence any doubts about his viability as a franchise quarterback.
Rod Smith picking up where he left off last week…in the end zone. Rod Smith had a huge game last week and he’s the first Cowboy to put one in the end zone tonight. The Cowboys lead the Raiders 10-0.
TD Cowboys!!! Rod Smith!!! 10-0 #DALvsOAK #DallasCowboys #CowboysNation pic.twitter.
Team Black defeated Team Orange 10-7 at the Oregon State Gymnastics annual Orange & Black Exhibition. Team Black was anchored by seniors Dani Dessaints and Shireen Khamedoost, but the event gave the Oregon State program the opportunity to show off the youth that will carry the team through the next few seasons.
Among those younger athletes was sophomore Sabrina Gill, who won every one of her rounds for the evening for Team Black. Gill was one of three gymnasts performing the all-around, joined by Destinee Davis, who went 2-2 for Team Orange, and Mary Jacobsen, who went 1-3 on the night, switching between teams as the event necessitated. These three look to be the core that Oregon State will build around as they attempt to return to the championship.
USC lost a 4 star commit as early signing day approaches.
All purpose running back Mychale Salahuddin decommitted from the USC Trojans early Sunday morning. Salahuddin made the announcement through his twitter account.
Salahuddin was rated by 24/7 composite as a 4 star running back and was ranked as the No. 3 all purpose running back in the Nation. The 5’10, 193 lb running back out of Woodson High School in Washington D.C. committed to USC back on June 26th of 2017, however it has been stated that distance was indeed a concern.
Although Salahuddin decomitted from the Trojans, they still remain in his Top 5. He could decide to recommit to USC later on. As of now we wait to see if the 4 star running back out of Washington D.C. decides to stay close to home or sign with the Trojans.
Today has been a busy day for Utah Utes football recruiting. Earlier today the Utes landed a commitment from JUCO defensive end Jeremiah Jordan out of Mt. San Jacinto College. They also flipped three-star Carrollton (Texas) Hebron offensive guard/tackle Braeden Daniels, who was a former Illinois Fighting Illini commit. Daniels is Nike+ Verified 6’ 4”, 250 pounds.
After talking with my family in regards to what’s best for my future, I’ve decided to decommit from the University of Illinois and commit to the University of Utah. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this journey.. #GoUtes pic.twitter.com/LMiWKXmTRu— B – 7️⃣1️⃣ (@B_Daniels71) December 17, 2017
I really love this flip for Utah. The first thing that becomes apparent watching film on Daniels is his nastiness on the field.