Rich Pedroncelli/APAfter a rough 2013 with the Houston Texans

Raiders QB McGloin steps on to the Thanksgiving stage

Matt McGloin’s rapid ascent from undrafted rookie to starting NFL quarterback is headed to the big stage.

McGloin will make his third career start on Thanksgiving Day for the Raiders in front of a national- television audience against the Dallas Cowboys.

McGloin has had an impressive start to his NFL career despite failing to get invited to the scouting combine or drafted when he left Penn State. He became the fourth quarterback since the 1970 merger to throw three touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first start, a 28-23 win at Houston.

He then threw the go-ahead touchdown pass with 6:10 remaining last week against Tennessee before watching the defense give up the late lead in a 23-19 loss to the Titans.

Now he will try to get the Raiders (4-7) back on the winning track against a Dallas defense that has allowed the second-most passing yards in the league this season.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” McGloin said. “I’m sure everybody has grown up watching that game with their families and to be a part of it is something special. We’re all looking forward to it. We’re excited about it. It’s going to be a tough atmosphere for football, but we’ll handle it.”

McGloin enters the week as the unquestioned starter for the first time. He wasn’t named the starter for his first game until the day before when Terrelle Pryor was ruled out with a knee injury. Coach Dennis Allen waited until Wednesday last week to announce McGloin as starter but did not wait at all this week.

“It feels good,” McGloin said. “You don’t have to wonder or deal with it this week.”NFLOakland Raiders & NFL

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