American Football: Cowboys may miss play-offs after Oilers strike in Dallas

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An already troubled season for the Dallas Cowboys became demonstrably worse on Thursday night when they lost at home to the Tennessee Oilers.

The Cowboys's were beaten 27-14 in one of two Thanksgiving Day fixtures. It was their second defeat in five days, takes their record to 6-7 and puts them in severe danger of missing the play-offs for the first time in seven seasons. Even if his team is competing beyond the regular season, the fate of the Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer appears sealed, but this latest defeat may hasten his departure.

Troy Aikman - who nearly missed his first play because he needed a muscle relaxant to relieve severe back spasms which developed in the warm-up - made a poor start and was was intercepted on his second and fifth pass attempt, and three times in all. Darryll Lewis claimed two of the interceptions and forced a fumble which was returned for a touchdown.

Barry Sanders rushed for 167 yards for the Detroit Lions as they beat the Chicago Bears 55-20 in the other Thanksgiving Day game. Sanders became the first person to rush for more than 100 yards in 11 successive games in one season.