Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) scrambles to the four yard line as he cannot find a receiver in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) scrambles to the four yard line as he cannot find a receiver in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Raiders ‘let it rip late’, but lose to Cowboys after Carr fumble

OAKLAND — Some 40 minutes before a bright orange military helicopter ripped over the Coliseum and fireworks launched from a tarped Mt. Davis — punctuating the singing of the national anthem — Jerry Jones and Mark Davis, the owners of the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders, respectively, talked along the home sideline at midfield.

The last time Jones and his Cowboys had met Davis and the Raiders, the future was a bright and promising place for both teams.

It was Aug. 26 — Week 3 of the preseason. The site was AT&T Stadium, the Cowboys’ 80,000-seat football palace.

The Cowboys were fresh off a 13-3 finish, quarterbacked by Dak Prescott, who had delivered such a stunning debut season that he forced Tony Romo into early retirement.

The Raiders were returning from a 12-4 campaign, curtailed only by Derek Carr’s broken fibula on Christmas Eve.

By that August evening, Carr had a healthy spring and summer of practice under his belt, he was two months removed from scoring a then-NFL record $125-million deal.

As Jones and Davis chatted before the Raiders’ season-deflating 20-17 loss on Sunday night, the giant video screens, perched atop opposite ends of the bowl, flashed images of Raiders luminaries like Tim Brown. Andre Ward, the local boxing legend, lit the Al Davis torch.

When the schedules were originally drawn up, this was supposed to be a late-season matchup between a pair of Super Bowl contenders. Instead, it proved to be a battle between the league’s two most disappointing teams.

“[It was a] heck of a game,” head coach Jack Del Rio said after the loss, which dropped his team to 6-8 and pushed the Cowboys to 8-6. “I thought it was a gritty effort back and forth. I really, really believed that we were going to pull it out and I was going to be sitting up here with a big smile.”

After Del Rio spent the week imploring his Raiders to “let it rip,” the team was shut out in the opening half — for the third time this season.

Carr threw for four yards in the first quarter. The Raiders didn’t secure a first down until the 12:25 mark of the second when Carr, improbably, scrambled for one.

Giorgio Tavecchio whiffed a 39-yard kick as the clock expired, prompting one Raider staffer to blurt out: “Pack it up.”

Prescott, who rivals Carr for one of the most underachieving quarterbacks of 2017, came to let it rip — for better and worse.

Prescott dared the Raiders’ secondary throughout the night, repeatedly throwing into danger — resulting in a pair of interceptions for cornerback Sean Smith.

His bold approach was also rewarded in a bizarre fourth-quarter scene. Prescott took off from his own 39-yard line on a fourth-and-short keeper. The first-down measurement was so close that the referees pulled out a piece of paper to place between the chain and the ball.

“I don’t want to get fined,” Del Rio said. “I’m not happy with the way things were done in a lot of different situations throughout the night.”

In the second half, Carr and the Raiders finally let loose, rallying for 17 points — including a pair of touchdown strikes to Michael Crabtree.

Ultimately, it was Carr’s decision to play without abandon that did the Raiders in. With 39 seconds to go, Carr took off from the 8-yard line. As he approached the goal line, Carr soared toward the pylon, fumbling out
of the end zone, leading to a touchback.

“I left it all out there — just trying to win for my teammates,” Carr said. “No excuse. I’ve got to hold onto the ball, but the fight our team played with, that was familiar.”

NFL

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Advocates with the San Francisco Public Bank Coalition hold a rally outside City Hall before the Board of Supervisors were to vote on a resolution supporting the creation of a public banking charter on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Should San Francisco run its own public bank? The debate returns

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Apprenticeship instructor Mike Miller, center, demonstrates how to set up a theodolite, a hyper-sensitive angle measuring device, for apprentices Daniel Rivas, left, Ivan Aguilar, right, and Quetzalcoatl Orta, far right, at the Ironworkers Local Union 377 training center in Benicia on June 10, 2021. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California’s affordable housing crisis: Are labor union requirements in the way?

By Manuela Tobias CalMatters California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that… Continue reading

People fish at a dock at Islais Creek Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What Islais Creek tells us about rising sea levels in San Francisco

Islais Creek is an unassuming waterway along San Francisco’s eastern industrial shoreline,… Continue reading

Organizer Jas Florentino, left, explains the figures which represent 350 kidnapped Africans first sold as slaves in the United States in 1619 in sculptor Dana King’s “Monumental Reckoning.” The installation is in the space of the former Francis Scott Key monument in Golden Gate Park. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What a reparations program would look like in The City

‘If there’s any place we can do it, it’s San Francisco’

Officer Joel Babbs, pictured at a protest outside the Hall of Justice in 2017, is representing himself in an unusually public police misconduct matter. <ins>(Courtesy Bay City News)</ins>
The strange and troubling story of Joel Babbs: What it tells us about the SFPD

The bizarre and troubling career of a whistle-blowing San Francisco police officer… Continue reading

Most Read