DALLAS Teams

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Dez Bryant was on the wrong end of a Gene Steratore ruling in the 2014 playoffs against Green Bay. He was on the right end Sunday when Steratore used a piece of paper to rule Dak Prescott concerted a first down in the fourth quarter. "Game if inches," Bryant said. "I never seen it before but it shows it's a game of inches."

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Ref uses paper to measure first down (0:33)

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

To say the Cowboys are excited about the return of Ezekiel Elliott is an understatement. Jason Garrett was a bit more measured but he said he's been told Elliott has been working out. Players have been in touch with Elliott via text message in his absence. At 8-6, the Cowboys still need to win out and have some help but Elliott's return will be a boost.

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Cowboys find a way past the Raiders (1:31)
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Bryant's leaping grab sets up go-ahead FG (0:23)
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Carr's fumble into end zone seals game for Cowboys (0:47)

Kevin Seifert NFL Nation 

The quirkiest NFL Sunday in a long time included all of the league's greatest hits. The AFCs' No. 1 seed might have been decided when the Steelers' go-ahead touchdown was invalidated by the infuriating catch rule. Later, referee Gene Steratore granted the Cowboys a first down on a measurement so close that he used a folded index card to gauge it. And then, the Raiders lost possession on their final drive when quarterback Derek Carr's fumble dribbled out of the end zone for a touchback. All that was missing on this day was an illegal bat.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Gene Steratore takes (2014 playoffs) and he gives. Steratore's two fourth quarter rulings helped keep the Cowboys playoff chances alive with their 20-17 win against the Oakland Raiders. It was as gutsy as it was ugly for the Cowboys but they welcome back Ezekiel Elliott from his suspension on Monday with a chance. And that's all they wanted when he left six games ago.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys made the first down by less than a link of the chain. Wow. The season lives.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Gutsy call by Jason Garrett to go for it there. That's not his normal way. It looked like Dak Prescott made it with the quarterback sneak but who knows?

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Gene Steratore, replay and the Cowboys do not go together. But I think they will move this back a half yard forcing the Cowboys to punt with 5:09 to play.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys open with a minus-4 yard reverse by Dez Bryant and a holding penalty on Byron Bell. It's now second and 24. Not a lot they can do here.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Can the offense answer again with the score 17-17? They have owned the fourth quarter the last two games with 41 points vs. Washington and at New York. Dez Bryant had a 19-yard grab on the last drive. Perhaps that will get him going.

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Prescott keeps it himself for TD (0:31)

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Gene Steratore overturned Dez Bryant's fourth-down catch in the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in 2014. With 14:29 left in the fourth quarter against Oakland, Steratore said Seth Roberts' 26-yard catch stands. Oh what the Cowboys would have given for that ruling in 2014.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Gene Steratore overturned Dez Bryant's fourth-down catch in the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in 2014. With 14:29 left in the fourth quarter against Oakland, Steratore said Seth Roberts' 26-yard catch stands. Oh what the Cowboys would have given for that ruling in 2014.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Gene Steratore about to determine what is or isn't a catch in a Cowboys' game? Where have we seen this before? Oh, yeah. The 2014 playoff game with Dez Bryant at Green Bay.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Dan Bailey is in the blue tent behind the Cowboys bench getting examined. He appeared to get kicked in the head on the Raiders' most recent kickoff.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys enter the fourth quarter with a 17-10 lead. They have outscored their last two opponents, 41-7, to pull away for wins. Can they do the same against Oakland?

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Smith picks off Prescott twice (0:59)

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Dan Bailey slow to get up after that kickoff return. Another thing to watch as the game goes forward. Jeff Heath kicked three point after attempts in the Cowboys' visit to San Francisco earlier this season when Bailey suffered a groin injury.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Tyron Smith has a sprained right knee. On the replay, it looked like his leg got stuck in the ground while he was engaged with a Raider defender. He is questionable to return.