Wade Phillips talks about Thursday's Thanksgiving win over Oakland.
Dallas tops Oakland
"Every game is a tough game, they fought hard, but I thought we made to many big plays that hurt them," Dallas head coach Wade Phillips said afterwards.
"Defense played solid again and our special teams, having to punt nine times, so we played well on third downs defensively also which I was glad because we hadn't played that well the last couple of games."
Oakland was coming off a victory over division-leading Cincinnati just a few days before, but was unable to build off the win, failing to cross midfield in the first half.
Dallas linebacker Anthony Spencer even got into the mix Thursday, coming up with his first two sacks of the season, rubbing salt in the wounds of former Cowboy linebacker Greg Ellis, who was released with the expectation that Spencer would emerge.
"I think the defense is getting better and better every game," Spencer said afterwards. "We're in a good position right now. As long as we keep getting better every week, I think we're going to be good especially since we have a lot of games coming up that are going to be real tough for us and we're on the road for some of them.
"We've been playing real well, but we've got to keep that up."
The Cowboys, of course, were coming off two straight disappointing outings on offense, and had more to worry about with Romo nursing a sore back and Jason Witten questionable because of a sprained left foot.
But Romo was strong, completing 18-of-29 for 309 yards with two touchdown passes and no turnovers. And Witten not only made his 102nd straight start, he caught five passes for 107 yards, his most since last Thanksgiving.
In addition, Miles Austin finished with 145 receiving yards – the fourth 100-yard game of his career and third of the season.
Dallas ended up with four plays of at least 40 yards in the first half, leading 17-0. The scores came on a 46-yard run by Felix Jones, a 9-yard catch by Austin and a field goal by Nick Folk. Folk also missed a field goal - for the third straight game.
The Dallas offense also had 10 plays of 20-or-more yards (two rush and seven pass).
"Felix Jones had a big game," Phillips said. "Marion Barber had a big game and Tashard had a big game. It doesn't always happen that you can get all those guys and all the ones we named offensively in to the flow and able to make big plays but all of them did. Felix has that home run threat."
The Cowboys also got a 6-yard touchdown catch by Roy Williams in the fourth quarter. Williams celebrated by flashing the Hook 'em Horns sign, a sign of support for his alma mater hours before they faced their rivals from Texas A&M.
Jones ended up with 68 yards, while Tashard Choice had 67 (with 66 coming on one play in Dallas' version of the wildcat) and Marion Barber had 61.
Bruce Gradkowski, starting for second-year man JaMarcus Russell, was 18-of-35 for 200 yards and the touchdown pass to Heyward-Bey. Justin Fargas ran for 63 yards, but only 11 came over the final three quarters.
This was the first time the Cowboys beat the Raiders at home. Oakland had been 3-0 in previous stops in Texas.
"All of them count," Phillips said afterwards. "We got a rough schedule, but we have and a rough schedule all the way through. At least we had a chance to win every game we have played. I feel good about that. Going into any game I think you can't say they don't have a chance to win that game because they do."
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