The new look Raiders offense got off to a disastrous start against the Dallas Cowboys. A missed assignment on the offensive line led Matt Flynn to be crushed from a blindside hit, which jarred the ball loose and led to a Cowboys recovery. Although the offense looked awful from the start, the Raiders new look defense looked good. Second year defensive lineman Jack Crawford made a big pass deflection that stopped the Cowboys momentum and rookie linebacker Sio Moore made a huge sack that helped the Raiders hold the Cowboys to 3 points. What made the sack impressive was that it was caused by great coverage which made Romo hold onto the ball for far too long. In any case, Crawford and Moore are important pieces to the rebuilt defense, so it is a good sign that they both made big plays.
On the second drive, Matt Flynn looked good as the Raiders ran a fast paced west coast offense. Flynn found Denarius Moore on a big reception, as Moore got big yardage after the catch. Under the new west coast offense, the Raiders receivers will need to put up big numbers in YAC for the Raiders offense to score points. Second year receiver Rod Streater looked like Flynns safety blanket as he was a target on third downs. It was reassuring to see Flynn find McFadden and Reece in the passing game. Last season Carson Palmer did not use McFadden and Reece in the passing game nearly enough. Although the Raiders had to settle for a field-goal, the Raider Nation could rest a little easier with how Flynn moved the offense.
After letting the Cowboys drive the ball down their throats, they once again made a big defensive stop in the red zone. Veteran Tyvon Branch made a huge block on a field goal attempt to keep the game knotted up 3-3.
Terrelle Pryor looked great in both drives he was in. Not only was he breaking big runs but he looked poised as a quarterback. It was exciting to see Pryor running the read-option but he also ran the pistol offense. After a 9 minute drive, it looked like Pryor had made his case to be in the starting quarterback conversation but he made a terrible mistake floating a ball across the field that was intercepted in the end zone. Pryor led the team on a great last minute drive to get the team 3 points but his interception in the endzone will not be forgotten. Tight end David Ausberry lived up to the hype by not only having an explosive reception but also getting called for a holding penalty. If Ausberry can’t improve his blocking, he will not be the starting tight end for the Raiders. Jamize Olawale looked good as both a runner and a blocker in the first half. It would not be a surprise if he works his way on to the 53 man roster.