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DeMarco Murray powers Cowboys to Thanksgiving win

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DeMarco Murray turned in his best performance of the season to power the Dallas Cowboys (7-5) to victory over the Oakland Raiders (4-8) on Thanksgiving.

The Cowboys running back scored three touchdowns, carrying 17 times for 63 yards while backup Lance Dunbar led the team with a career-high 82 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo fell ill the night before the game, but battled through to throw for 225 yards and a score.

It's an American tradition that the Cowboys play on Thanksgiving but it didn't start as planned for Jason Garrett's team.

The Raiders took the lead on the opening play of the game. Rookie Terrance Williams coughed up the ball on the kick return, allowing former-Cowboy Greg Jenkins to return it for a touchdown.

But Romo, aided by a strong rushing attack that carved up the Raiders time after time, helped overturn a 21-14 half-time deficit.

Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden, part of the NFL's fifth-best rushing attack, stalled in Texas and were held to just 50 total yards rushing for the Raiders.

Undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin had a solid first-half, twice driving his team down into scoring position for Jennings to punch home.

But the Raiders were swept aside in the second half - largely thanks to a three-score day for Murray.

"I was just playing like I always play," Murray told ESPN. "I'm not worried about anything else. I'm just doing the best I can do and trying to help this team win."

The win puts the Cowboys top of the NFC East, although the Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) can go back ahead with victory over the Arizona Cardinals at the weekend.

In the late Thanksgiving match-up the Baltimore Ravens (6-6) topped the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) 20-22 at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Steelers failed on a two-point conversion with just over a minute to left to play after Ben Roethlisberger had tossed a touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery to make it 20-22 late in the fourth quarter.

But Emmanuel Sanders couldn't bring down the catch on the two-point play, and the Ravens held on for the victory.

Both Flacco and Roethlisberger threw for over 250 yards - the Steelers quarterback for two TDs, the Ravens for one.

And there was controversy after Steelers coach Mike Tomlin appeared to impede Jacoby Jones on his kick return - the Ravens star was streaking down the sideline but had to check his step and was eventually caught after a 73-yard burst.

Ultimately though, the defending Super Bowl champions saw off the challenge and now have ten days rest before taking on the Minnesota Vikings.

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Oakland Raiders
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