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Dallas Cowboys sit atop NFC East after beating Raiders

Do you believe in the Dallas Cowboys?

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the Dallas Cowboys' 31-24 win over the Oakland Raiders from Week 13 on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Answer honestly, and rest easy in the knowledge that there's no wrong answer. At least, where we stand right now. The Cowboys have been hot and cold all season, making them one of the NFL's great mysteries as we approach the final month of the regular season.

Thanksgiving provided little in the way of clarity. The Cowboys beat the Oakland Raiders, 31-24, winning for the second time in four days. The Cowboys are now 7-5 and sit alone atop the NFC East with four games remaining. The Philadelphia Eagles can move back into a tie Sunday with a win at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

Of course, it shouldn't be lost that Dallas fell 14 points behind the Raiders on Thursday with less than two minutes to play in the second quarter. This was an uneven performance against a middling team. It's hard to predict where the Cowboys go from here, starting next week against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Perhaps the brightest aspect of the day was the true emergence of Dallas' maligned running game. Using an intriguing combination of DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, Dallas rushed for 144 yards, with Murray scoring three times. It's the most yards the Cowboys have rushed for all season and just the second time in 12 games they've gone over 100 yards.

Dunbar was unable to finish the game after he suffered a hyperextended knee in the fourth quarter. Owner Jerry Jones said after the game the injury could cost the back one to two weeks.

The Cowboys surely feel good about their chances entering December. They control their own destiny, have a manageable schedule and have a showdown with the Eagles waiting in Week 17.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. Week 17 and the Cowboys have not been on good terms in recent years. They soon will get another chance to flip the script.

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