But both teams are technically in the hunt and will be vying to keep their dreams alive another week under the lights of Sunday Night Football.
Here are five things to know about the 6-7 Raiders:
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had one of the best seasons of any player in 2016, and garnered legitimate most valuable player consideration. He didn’t get that honor and the Raiders had an early playoff exit after Carr was sidelined with a broken leg. Carr has flashed signs of his 2016 play this season – he threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-30 win over Kansas City on Oct. 19 – but has also been inconsistent. Against the Chiefs last week, Carr had the opposite of his October masterpiece by throwing for just 211 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Marshawn Lynch returned to football this season with his hometown Raiders. The 31-year-old running back isn’t at his former All-Pro level, but is still averaging 4.2 yards a carry. The Raiders manage his workload – he’s carried it more than 20 times just once this season – but that hasn’t stopped him from finding the end zone. Lynch is tied for fourth in the league with seven rushing touchdowns, including five over his past five games. Lynch has scored on runs of 51- and 22-yards this season.
On paper, the Raiders appear to have receiving threats in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. But Crabtree seems to be on the decline with no 100-yard receiving games and just one standout performance – a three-touchdown game against the New York Jets in Week 2. And Cooper, who started his career with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons, has battled injuries and has just one standout performance – a 210-yard, two-touchdown game vs. Kansas City on Oct. 19. The Raiders leading receiver this season? Tight end Jared Cook, the former Green Bay Packer who caught the long pass from Aaron Rodgers to set up the winning field goal in the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff loss last season.
The Raiders rank 22nd in the league in defense, but the biggest problem has been a lack of impact plays. Khalil Mack remains one of the elite pass rushers, Bruce Irvin is having a solid season and NaVorro Bowman has given them a veteran presence. But the Raiders have just 26 sacks on the season, tied for 22nd in the league, and rank last with just 10 takeaways. That isn’t a winning formula and a reason why they’ve lost five games by double digits.
Did you know?
The Raiders aren’t used to hosting America’s Team. This is the first time the Cowboys will play in Oakland since October 2005. The Raiders won that contest, 19-13. Drew Bledsoe started at quaterback for the Cowboys and their lone touchdown was a 63-yard pass from Bledsoe to Patrick Crayton. A 23-year-old Jason Witten had five receptions for 49 yards that day. It wasn’t too memorable of a game, although the Cowboys have won the past two match-ups against the Raiders in Texas – a 24-7 victory in 2009 and a 31-24 victory in 2013.