In a matchup between two of the NFL's top passing offenses that exploded for more than 900 total yards, it was the ref show that dominated the discourse surrounding Thanksgiving's afternoon showdown.
The crew officiating the Cowboys and Raiders got plenty of air time, calling 28 penalties for a combined 276 yards. In its 36–33 overtime win, Las Vegas went just 3-of-13 on third down but picked up seven first downs from penalties.
The flag fest turned what could've been a fast-paced offensive battle into a stop-and-start slog that wound up being Dallas's third consecutive loss on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys didn't take lightly to the 166 penalty yards amassed on Thursday.
“That is tough, especially in our own stadium," receiver Michael Gallup said postgame. "You’re playing two teams. You’re playing the refs and the other team.”
It was only fitting that a game defined by the number of flags was ultimately decided by one. With the Raiders backed up to third-and-18 with six minutes left in overtime, Derek Carr lofted a pass deep to Zay Jones. Cowboys corner Anthony Brown was called for pass interference (his fourth of the game), and the 33-yard penalty set the Raiders up for the game-winning field goal from Daniel Carlson.
"I think we should play football," linebacker Micah Parsons said postgame. "We're not here to play tag."
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