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3 quick takeaways from Raiders-Cowboys game

Three quick takeaways from the Raiders’ 36-33 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday at Arlington, Texas:

1. Carlson comes through

Daniel Carlson is a great comfort for Raiders coaches, who know he’s nearly an automatic three points when they send him on the field.

That was especially true in this game.

Carlson not only made the 29-yard field goal in overtime to win, he also connected from 22, 46, 30 and 56 yards.

The Raiders simply don’t win without him.

Of course, the argument can — and should — be made the Raiders rely too heavily on field goals. If they had been more aggressive in certain spots, Carlson’s heroics probably would not have been needed.

2. Jackson makes an impact

DeSean Jackson was signed to stretch the field for the Raiders, and his contribution the first two games with his new club was minimal.

On Thursday, Jackson’s play led directly to the Raiders’ two touchdowns in the first quarter. He caught a 56-yard pass and tiptoed down the left sideline to put the Raiders on top 7-0 lead. Jackson drew a 30-yard pass-interference penalty at the Cowboys’ 1-yard line to set up Josh Jacobs’ TD run on the next play and 14-6 lead.

In the third quarter, Jackson drew a 17-yard pass interference to help set up a field goal and 27-19 lead.

Jackson wound up catching three passes for 102 yards.

3. Carr returns to form

There is little accident that the Raiders’ three-game skid coincided with Derek Carr suddenly not throwing the ball downfield.

He made the point to go deep against the Cowboys, not only targeting Jackson but Zay Jones and Hunter Renfrow as well.

The result was Carr’s best game in more than a month. He completed 24 of 39 passes for 373 yards and was not intercepted.

If the Raiders are to truly contend for a playoff berth, Carr will need to continue to deliver that kind of production.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.  

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