It took the Cowboys a half to wake up from what appeared to be a tryptophan coma, but once they did, they looked like a quality team again.
They came back from an early malaise to beat the Raiders 31-24 Thursday, riding a running game that did what it needed to do, and a passing offense that was good enough in the second half.
DeMarco Murray ran for three touchdowns, and the Cowboys were able to control the clock after the Raiders pushed them around in the first half. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was 23-of-32 for 225 yards and a touchdown, but he had plenty of help.
Backup running back Lance Dunbar, who had 18 carries for 68 yards this season, emerged with 82 yards on 12 carries before going down with a left knee injury late in the game.
That was enough for the Cowboys to improve to 7-5, putting them a half-game up on the Eagles for the top spot in the NFC East.
The Raiders fell to 4-8, wasting a solid first half by rookie quarterback Matt McGloin. But when he was picked off by Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr in the end zone it sealed things, as the Raiders mostly looked like a tired team on a short week.