Matt McGloin has given the Oakland Raiders new breath at quarterback since taking over for Terrell Pryor.
McGloin has an 88.8 quarterback rating in 2 1/2 games, with four touchdowns, one interception and a 1-1 record in two starts. The undrafted rookie from Penn State mopped up in a 49-20 loss to Philadelphia three weeks ago. The following week, in his first start, he threw three touchdown passes in a victory at Houston.
“The rookie quarterback? Believe me, he doesn’t play like a rookie,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. “Go look at his rating. Go look at the tape. He’s making really, really good decisions.”
McGloin was less effective in a loss against Tennessee on Sunday, but he had a strong second half, leading a go-ahead drive late, and Raiders coach Dennis Allen sounded sold.
“He got us the touchdown we needed to give us the lead,” Allen told Oakland reporters, announcing McGloin would start Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys. “We just didn’t hold it defensively.”
McGloin, 44-for-79 for 544 yards so far, expressed dissatisfaction with his performance Sunday.
“I was up and down,” he said. “We couldn’t get anything going early on. Sometimes you’re going to have games like that. I thought we did a good job adjusting at halftime, and it was great to see we were able to make those changes and get better in the second half.”
Rashad Jennings leads the NFL in total yards over the past four weeks, with 413 rushing and 140 receiving. The five-year veteran has been over 100 yards rushing twice in that time, going for 102 against Philadelphia and 150 against Houston.
He got his chance when Darren McFadden was injured, but before that, Jennings was making a mark on special teams. He blocked a punt in Week 4.
Raiders’ veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski has missed seven field-goal attempts this year, as many as the past two years combined. Four of the misses have been from less than 50 yards.
He is kicking this year for the first time without punter Shane Lechler, now with the Texans, as his holder.
McGloin took practice snaps as holder this week.
• Cornerback Mike Jenkins, a former Cowboy, had a concussion in last week’s game and was limited in practice.
• Linebacker Kevin Burnett was limited in practice because of a quadriceps injury.
• Running back Darren McFadden has a hamstring injury, but has worked in practice.
• Safety Tyvon Branch is expected to miss the game because of an ankle injury.
• Receiver Denarius Moore has a shoulder injury and did not practice Monday or Tuesday.
102 Tackles for middle linebacker Nick Roach, a career high.
• Oakland is 0-3 against the NFC East this year.
• The Raiders have played seven times on Thanksgiving, but against the Cowboys only once, a 24-7 loss in 2009.