Daniel Carlson kicked a 29-yard field goal in overtime to condemn the Dallas Cowboys to a heartbreaking home 36-33 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving.
In what was a penalty-ridden NFL game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, a pass interference called on Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown kept the Raiders drive alive in overtime with the scores knotted up.
The penalty allowed Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr to set his team up within manageable field goal range to claim a famous victory, and Carlson duly converted his fifth field goal of the game.
The win ends a three-game losing streak for the Raiders and is their first Thanksgiving victory since 1968.
It is a crushing defeat for the Cowboys who have Super Bowl aspirations this season.
After the game, as is Thanksgiving NFL tradition, a player from the winning team celebrates in style — taking a bite out of a turkey leg. And this time it was Carlson’s turn after his clutch kick.
“Every win’s important. We’ve been working really hard,” Carlson said afterwards. “It’s tough when things don’t go your way for a few weeks. On a short week to be able to get a win like that, that helps us going forward. Like I said, I think that just speaks to the character of this team and our will to win.”
Every season, the Cowboys play on Thanksgiving and it’s one of the most watched NFL games of the year.
But this time around, they entered the game shorthanded, missing their two best wide receivers in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
And it resulted in a slow start for the Cowboys offense, as the Raiders raced into a 17-13 halftime lead.
Despite losing star tight end Darren Waller during the game to injury, the Raiders kept scoring and edging ahead of Dallas.
Carlson hit his fourth field goal of the game with 1:57 left in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders a three-point cushion, but Dallas kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 45-yard field goal with just seconds left to tie the game at 33-33 and send it to overtime.
After the Cowboys’ drive stalled in overtime, the big pass interference play on Brown — the fourth called on him in the game — on third-and-18 set up Carlson’s game-winning kick.
The loss is the Cowboys’ fourth in their last five Thanksgiving games.
Carr threw for 373 yards and one touchdown, while Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott finished with 375 yards and two touchdowns.
There were an extraordinary 28 penalties in the game for 276 yards, as well as a scuffle between both teams that led to two ejections and an official getting a bloody chin in the third quarter.
“It feels like we showed the heart of our team today,” said Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. “To fight like we did, for them to go down and score and for us to respond. I really feel good about the character of our team, especially with what we’ve been through these last couple of weeks. It was huge to get that win and hopefully we can build on that as we go forward.”
The Lions’ drought goes on
The Detroit Lions will have to wait a bit longer for their first win of the season after they lost 16-14 to the Chicago Bears earlier on Thanksgiving.
A last-second field goal from Bears kicker Cairo Santos ensured the winless start to the season goes on for the despairing Lions, meaning they slip to 0-10-1 on the season.
The game started with a bizarre opening coin toss where the Lions chose to defer after winning the toss. When asked by the officials if they wanted the ball, the Bears players chose to defer, which they were told that they could not do, as the Lions had already chosen to defer.
But the victory could prove a vital win for under pressure Bears head coach Matt Nagy, whose future at the helm of the franchise has been the subject of speculation this week.
“When there’s distractions, which is in every sport, in all facts of life — there’s always going to be distractions,” he told the media after his team improved their record to 4-7 with the win.
“It’s how you handle them. And again, we got the win today, and it could’ve went a lot of different ways. But the reason why we got the win is because of how they handled the distractions, you know?
“That’s where to me, when you’re in this business and you lead people, it’s my job to make sure of honest and open communication. That’s where, for me, I just can’t tell you how much this win means today to me because of what they did.”
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