Oakland Raiders Vs. Dallas Cowboys: Defense is up and ready but a new Offense takes time
Eliott Howes – Aug 14, 2012
Jon Gruden talking about his time in Oakland was probably the most exciting moment of the “Monday Night Football” matchup which ended in a 3-0 win to the Dallas Cowboys. Gruden reminisced the days when Janikowski and Lechler were drafted in 2000 and likened them to “Beavis & Butthead”. Other than that, we didn’t have much else to smile about! I’m not being negative; I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever felt completely satisfied after a pre-season game. There were some positives but also areas of concern.
Both starting QBs struggled during their time on the field with Carson Palmer throwing an Interception on a long pass to Jacoby Ford being the highlight of his day. Jacoby Ford’s day followed the same path as he dropped balls and made no impact in the return game. Denarius Moore’s position as a starter looks even more solid now, even though he didn’t step on the field. Darren McFadden’s early cameo was impressive and it showed that if he can stay fit, he can be the best running back in the National Football League.
The Raiders high pressure defence looked impressive getting through to Tony Romo on several occasions, with Tommy Kelly making a big play sacking the Cowboys’ QB to pin them deep in their own 20. The only “ooooooh” moment game when Marquette King boomed three punts of over 50 yards, adding to an impressive highlight reel which will undoubtedly get him a deal at another NFL team once the season starts.
Rod Streater caught 6 for 66 yards and impressed but other than that, the offense lacked weapons. What the game showed was that if Darren McFadden goes down injured during the season along with Heyward-Bey and Moore, the Raiders are in big trouble. Cedric Benson is gone, maybe we waited too long to sign him and he’s now in Green Bay. The list of veterans who can actually add something to the team is diminishing.
SIGN PLAXICO BURRESS! We have the ability to make plays down the field by using our speed beyond the opposition secondary but we have limited red zone targets. The 6’5” wide out Burress is a proven red zone threat and has the ability to make a big catch in the end zone. I’m glad TO is a name we won’t be seeing in Oakland and I hope we stay well clear of Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson too!
A veteran Tight End would be a good addition to this offense as it is clear that our current core is very weak and I will leave the Running Back situation until after the end of preseason as i feel Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson have the ability to back up Darren McFadden. Now Cedric Benson is not available, there aren’t any running backs that we are desperate to sign.
Matt Leinart showed why he is the clear No.2 QB with an efficient performance but it was the highly anticipated game time for Terrelle Pryor under center which kept everyone going during the second half. Yes, he lacked composure at times, his timing was sometimes poor and maybe his situational awareness wasn’t there but WOW, he can move!!! His development in pre-season is one we will all watch closely and if he can keep improving, I am sure he will have a package in this Raiders offense. Until now he is nothing more than a developmental QB but at the age of 23, he has nothing to worry about.
The game ended 3-0. We didn’t learn much but the game was part of a steep learning curve for the 90 men fighting to make the 53-man roster. Hard work is needed at training camp as the Raiders now move on to prepare for the matchup with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday.
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