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Raiders beat Cowboys 19-17

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, August 9th, 2013 at 9:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Not great, but not bad, either.

There weren’t any absolute truths to be gleaned from the Raiders 19-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys Friday night in their preseason opener, but there were signs the team could be an improvement over last season’s 4-12 disaster.

No reason to schedule a parade, perhaps, but considering many preseason prognosticators consider the Raiders to be one of the least-talented teams in the NFL, it was at least baby steps in the right direction.

Sebastian Janikowski and Eddy Carmona each kicked a pair of field goals and Brice Butler caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to account for the Raiders’ scoring.

Dallas, 1-1 in the preseason, had a 38-yard field goal by Dan Bailey, a 15-yard pass from Kyle Orton to Cole Beasley and a 1-yard run by Joseph Dunbar.

Starting quarterback Matt Flynn and backup Terrelle Pryor each had a turnover and led the team to a field goal in the first half, with Sebastian Janikowski converting from 51 and 40 yards. Both also showed their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Carmona had field goals of 32 and 23 yards, the latter following a fumbled Marquette King punt by D.W. Webb was recovered by Eric Harper at the 13-yard line to put the Raiders up 19-17.

Defensively, the Raiders put 10 new starters on the field with the first team and kept Dallas out of the end zone following their first turnover _ a sack-fumble lost by Flynn.

Only coach Dennis Allen knows who did and who did not enhance their chances of being a major player in 2013, but one thing is for sure _Butler gave himself a chance to be the outside playmaker the offense desperately needs.

Butler caught a 40-yard pass from third-string quarterback Matt McGloin, then later made a diving catch in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown while being tightly guarded by Sterling Moore.

Flynn for the most part did what Allen and offensive coordinator want him to do _ manage the team, keep drives alive, use some clock and make the safe play. He finished 4 of 5 for 37 yards.

He couldn’t be faulted for the lone turnover _ a blindside sack by Sean Lee that Jason Hatcher recovered at the Oakland 16-yard line.

Flynn’s second series resulted on a 12-play, 49-yard drive that included a 17-yard strike to Denarius Moore on third-and-6 and a 4-yard scramble up the middle on second-and-6 that set up a 4-yard first-down pass to Rod Streater.

The Raiders got as far as the Dallas 33 before Flynn threw incomplete and short of the stake on third-and-3, with Janikowski coming in to covert a 51-yard field goal off the infield dirt.

“Practice is one thing, but it’s a whole different ballgame when you come out here to play a game,’’ Flynn said.

Pryor demonstrated in his second-quarter performance the kind of running-passing threat currently in vogue in the NFL, rushing three times for 31 yards and hitting 6 of 10 passes for 88 yards.

The Raiders also got strong running from Rashad Jennings, who ran well in short-yardage, also had a 16-yard run and finished with nine carries for 39 yards.

The third-year quarterback also made the kind of error that makes him a risk. After an athletic and creative drive that opened at the Oakland 10 and faced with third-and-4 from the Dallas 6, Pryor’s inexperience showed.

Rolling to his right, Pryor threw late and over the middle, with J.J. Wilcox intercepting the pass and ending the drive.

Pryor later drove the Raiders for their own 24 to the Dallas 22 before Janikowski connected from 40 yards to put the Raiders within 10-6.

The Raiders first-team defense, playing without tackles Vance Walker and Pat Sims, allowed only a Cowboys field goal after Flynn’s lost fumble.

One problem was pass rush _ the Raiders had almost none, and on one play Romo had a full seven seconds to throw before winging it out of the back of the end zone.

With little pressure, Romo had sliced through the Oakland secondary with no problem on the drive, completing 4 of 5 passes for 65 yards, including a 26-yard pass to Dez Bryant.

“I think after the fumble, for us to keep them out of the end zone was good,’’ Allen said. “They moved the ball a little but on us on the second drive but we were able to bow our backs and keep them out of the end zone. We did some good things but need to be more consistent.’’

Still, the Cowboys never crossed the goal line, and early in the second quarter came up empty after advancing to the Oakland 8 when Tyvon Branch blocked a Dan Bailey field goal attempt.

“On their first field goal, Tracy Porter got really close to blocking it so I think the wing tried to overextend to get him and I just shot the gap,’’ Branch said.

The Raiders got within 10-9 on a 32-yard field goal by Carmona in the third quarter when Usama Young intercepted an overthrown pass from third-string quarterback Nate Stephens and returned it deep into Dallas territory.

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  • 0ak r8rs

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 11:50 pm
    It was great to DA coaching Pryor, it appears Pryor has earned the HC’s respect.

    @@@@@@

    Yea. I picked that up too. At first, it seemed like Pryor was only getting the attention of other coaches, but then DA definitely got involved. I would have liked to have seen Pryor get that first series in the second half. Especially w the short field.

  • RaiderRetribution

    I agree that is why I see us trading one of our QBs.

    LBs, really like the starters- Roach, Burnett, & Sio; need Burris & Maiava to rejoin the backups to give us depth.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Great talking to you Oak Raider fan, time for me to hit the sack, Godspeed and good night.

  • 0ak r8rs

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 11:56 pm
    I agree that is why I see us trading one of our QBs.

    LBs, really like the starters- Roach, Burnett, & Sio; need Burris & Maiava to rejoin the backups to give us depth.

    @@@@@@

    Yea. I think all 4 QBs have some value. But idk if its just because we have no elite guy at QB ourselves that makes then valuable? Like, who could Flynn start for if not us? And I just think either rookie will come back to bite us in the @ss. Tough spot w these QBs. But I still say, it gets alot easier if Pryor wins the job.

    I don’t think we r done improving the LB crew this year. I’m concerned that Burris isn’t ready yet, his surgery was a long time ago. And Maieva has a broken bone. Someone say that’s not as big a deal for a LB as it is for a RB for example. And that makes sense. But it’s still 4 to 6 weeks minimum, regardless of position.

  • 0ak r8rs

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 12:00 am
    Great talking to you Oak Raider fan, time for me to hit the sack, Godspeed and good night.

    @@@@@@@

    You too. Night.

  • 0ak r8rs

    Scott Bair:

    Quarterback Terrelle Pryor looked good at times and terrible at others, showing why Flynn is the clear-cut starting quarterback. Pryor made plays with his arm (6-for-10, 88 yards) and his feet (three rushers, 31 yards) but he threw a pass into heavy traffic that was intercepted in the end zone.

    Put that out there for Dr rob. Although in starting to waiver. I’ve always said if Pryor can throw then he’s the solution. That pick in the red zone was ugly. And it can’t happen on a regular basis. May as well still have Palmer if that’s the case. But man, if he can learn?!?! He was exciting to watch tn. Can’t wait till next week on the road. Wanna see if he’s just as exciting without the home crowd behind him.

  • 0ak r8rs

    And I know it’s just preseason. But I can’t sleep because we just got our first win of the year. What did it take last year? Almost 2 months. Certainly doesn’t mean we r a playoff team. But it’s definitely NOT a bad thing to win this first game. Especially when it was the cowboys second game. We looked about as prepared as one could hope we would be for week 1 preseason.

  • jumpnjiminy

    0ak R8rs Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 11:10 pm
    Palmer is still playing, so never will is stupid to say, but I really dont see much fair analysis from you anyway. You talk out of the side of your mouth making declarative statements with built in excuses.

    @@@@@@@

    And before you go, here’s some fair analysis of Palmer:

    Only active QB w 50 plus wins but has a losing record.

    Only active QB w 37 plus wins that has never won a playoff game.

    ONLY ONE. LOSER AND A CHOKER. NNNNNNUUUUUMMMMMVBBBBBEEEEERRSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

    And btw, his decent QB rating? Just shows even more that he’s a choke artist that finds a way to lose in games and pads his stats. Only QB I know that can come out w a QB rating of 90 in a 17 point loss. That’s NOT a good thing.

    &&&&&&&&&&&&@@@&@@”@@@@@@@@

    Totally agree with your assessment of Palmer – AZ fans in for a disappointing season – tough luck.

    I posted ‘big mistake’ the moment we got that bum and literally suffered they last season. Angry that they didn’t bench him and give TP valueable playing time.

    Back to present – even tho most think Raiders will suck this year, I’m totally stoked about our prospects. I think between MF, TP, and MM we got a good chance of being over .500. And a lot of it is b/c they REALLY WANT to WIN! Unlike that bum we wasted a season and a half with.

    Seriously – our qbs all have talent that goes beyond stats. I’ve always believed in the ‘intangibles’ ala say Jim McMahon. He of course had W Payton, but he did get the bears to the sb and they won.

    Our current qb competition is the most interesting I’ve seen.

    Excited to watch game 2 and may the best man win!

    Will probably end up 1 Flynn, 2 Pryor, and 3 McGloin to start the season. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If Flynn can win games, roll with him. If we’re 1 & 3, put in TP. Don’t waste too much time hanging in there with Flynn just for the sake of hanging in there!

    W/o Palmer I can finally enjoy watching them play – go Raiders!