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Matt McGloin makes progress in third Raiders start

Have the Oakland Raiders found a quarterback?

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In Thursday's 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, in his NFL third start, again displayed what Raiders coaches saw in practice before pulling the plug on Terrelle Pryor.

Dennis Allen and his staff have McGloin operating out of more traditional formations than what Pryor required, making the most of the rookie's ability to stand in the pocket and make plays -- something he did against Dallas to the tune of 255 yards and 8.5 yards per pass.

It wasn't perfect. He also lost a key fumble that led to a Dallas score and made too many off-target throws, but McLovin shows a knack for completing shots downfield. In his first start, against the Texans in Week 11, the former Nittany Lion connected on four strikes of 20-plus yards. He completed seven of those throws against the Cowboys.

During an impressive first-quarter scoring drive, McGloin flung a 20-yard rope to Rod Streater, hit tight end Mychal Rivera for 22 yards and pegged Andre Holmes for 20 yards more on a well-run go pattern. Two plays later, McGloin again found Holmes for another 16 yards to the Cowboys' 1-yard line, leading to a Marcel Reece score that capped the march.

That ability to generate passing yardage in chunks is the differentiator between McGloin and Pryor -- and one reason the Raiders chose to keep the rookie and release noodle-armed Matt Flynn.

A finished product? Far from it. McGloin's big-play ability dried up in the second half -- he needs to produce over four quarters -- but Thursday was a continuation of what we've seen over his past two games. It's a start.

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