The final two minutes of the first half of the Cowboys-Raiders game Thursday night was what we thought the NFL playoffs would look like. Two teams fighting to create a play and score a touchdown. The defense changing field position and momentum more than once. The scoreboard flipping back and forth. One team in trouble and the other one seemingly in charge.
That’s how things were going going into the final two minutes of the second quarter when the Raiders marched 73 yards in five plays, capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Martavis Bryant. After Carr’s touchdown, the Cowboys’ defense got it together and held the Raiders scoreless for two more quarters, and with a comfortable 13-6 lead over the last-place Raiders in overtime, they were headed to the halftime locker room up by four points, taking home what many expected would be a classic example of the NFL playoffs.
But the Cowboys wanted more and in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, they clearly had what it took to do it. And they got it. A 63-yard touchdown catch by Dez Bryant and a 38-yard field goal by Brett Maher opened up a two-score lead.
On the first play of overtime, Amari Cooper was on the receiving end of a 79-yard touchdown pass to pull the Raiders to within two, and after Ezekiel Elliott scored on a six-yard run to put the Raiders up 24-19, Keenan Robinson intercepted Dak Prescott in the end zone with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter, sealing the win for the Cowboys. The Raiders would wind up losing 24-22.