Raiders' comeback fails when Derek Carr fumbles through end zone for touchback

The Oakland Raiders thought they had the Dallas Cowboys beat. When Derek Carr reached for the end zone in the final seconds, they likely thought that they were taking the lead or, at the very least, acquiring a first-and-goal with just over 30 seconds showing on the game clock. What they probably didn't think is that they were about to lose the game and crush their already slim playoff hopes.

But that's what happened. On Sunday night, the Raiders' 20-17 loss to the Cowboys was sealed when Carr reached for the end zone for a game-winning touchdown and lost control of the football before crossing over the goal line. The ball went out of the end zone. As a result, the Cowboys gained possession of the ball via a touchback. Game over.

Take a look:

You can hate the rule, but you can't deny that the rule was properly applied. Carr clearly lost control before he was down:

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Twitter: NFL

This isn't the first time this rule has popped up this season. It's up there with the catch rule in terms of how much fans appear to hate it. But it has been the rule for a while now. And Carr needed to realize what he was risking by extending for the goal line.

If he hadn't reached out for the end zone, the Raiders would've gotten a fresh set of downs inside the 5-yard line with roughly 30 seconds remaining. They were only trailing by a field goal. So at the very least, overtime would've been all but guaranteed. They still would've had time to take three shots at the end zone. They probably would've won if Carr hadn't tried to score a touchdown on that play. 

It's hard to blame Carr for trying to make a game-winning play. It's much easier to blame another silly NFL rule. But Carr and every other player in the league needs to be aware of that rule by now. And they need to make adjustments, at least until -- or if -- the NFL changes the rule. 

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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