Cowboys vs. Raiders: Thanksgiving game defined by 28 penalties

In a matchup between two of the NFL’s high passing offenses that exploded for greater than 900 complete yards, it was the ref present that dominated the discourse surrounding Thanksgiving’s afternoon showdown.

The crew officiating the Cowboys and Raiders acquired loads of air time, calling 28 penalties for a mixed 276 yards. In its 36–33 additional time win, Las Vegas went simply 3-of-13 on third down however picked up seven first downs from penalties.

The flag fest turned what might’ve been a fast-paced offensive battle right into a stop-and-start slog that wound up being Dallas’s third consecutive loss on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys didn’t take lightly to the 166 penalty yards amassed on Thursday.


“That is tough, especially in our own stadium,” receiver Michael Gallup said postgame. “You’re playing two teams. You’re playing the refs and the other team.”

It was only fitting that a game defined by the number of flags was ultimately decided by one. With the Raiders backed up to third-and-18 with six minutes left in overtime, Derek Carr lofted a pass deep to Zay Jones. Cowboys corner Anthony Brown was called for pass interference (his fourth of the game), and the 33-yard penalty set the Raiders up for the game-winning field goal from Daniel Carlson.

“I think we should play football,” linebacker Micah Parsons said postgame. “We’re not right here to play tag.”

Extra NFL Protection:

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• Jonathan Taylor Is Reminding us the Worth of a Nice Operating Again
• What Invoice Belichick Is Doing in 2021 Is Almost As Spectacular As Tom Brady’s ’20

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