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Offence Stalls As Boys Fall To Raiders 17-9

Another game down, same story for the Cowboys offence. Just like on Sunday, the Cowboys first team offence looked impressive driving the ball down the field on their opening possession, only to stall in the red zone. The Cowboys had troubles all last year in the red zone, and it looks like they are yet to figure out how to solve those problems so far this season.

The game started well for the Boys as ILB Bradie James and company swarmed Oakland’s offence of the bat forcing a 3-and-out for Campbell and the Raiders. Romo and the offence came out on their first drive and marched down to the Raiders 16-yard line, highlighted by a nice pass from Romo to Austin. The offence stalled, giving up 2 sacks and they had to settle for a Buehler 42-yard field goal.

The first team defence looked very formidable against an overmatched Raiders offence. Led by LB Bradie James, the Cowboys kept the Raiders from making a first down through the first two series, and giving up only 12 total yards.

Once the Cowboy starters left the game the Raiders first team was able to get their first first down but nothing more. It seemed like the Cowboys were in for a dominating night. While the second team players led the Cowboys to two more field goals, the red zone problems continued for the Cowboys. On the night, the Cowboys were 0-4 in the red zone, a problem they need to get fixed before the season starts. The team is frustrated by their lack of ability to get in the end zone. “Absolutely we’re out here to score, put points on the board and get touchdowns,” said Romo. “There’s a fine line. You don’t want to show all the stuff that we’ve been doing, but at some point we have to get in and get better.”

The game settled into a bit of a snoozer with the teams taking a good look at some of their depth. As the fourth quarter was drawing to an end, the Raiders seemed to figure out the Cowboys. Kyle Boller entered the game as the Raiders second quarterback in the second quarter and stayed in to led the team to 10 points in the last 6 minutes of the game. Boller was making his case to backup starter Jason Campbell. The Raiders iced it when Cowboys fourth string quarterback Matt Nichols threw an interception and Raiders safety Jerome Boyd raced it into the endzone for a 48-yard return for a touchdown.

The encouraging side of this game for the Cowboys was their first team defence was again extremely solid. They dominated the Raiders offence. The discouraging side, is they still cannot get a touchdown. While it is still early we will see how the Cowboys respond next week when the play in San Diego against the Chargers.

Players That Stood Out:

WR Sam Hurd – Hurd had a great game hauling in 4 balls for 57 yards. He also played well on special teams.

DT Junior Siavii – the Cowboys need him to step up and spell Ratliff for some snaps. If he plays as well as he did against the Raiders (4 tkl, 1 sack) that will help a lot.

P Matt McBriar – McBriar had a booming game with one punt sailing 68 yard out of the end zone and also had 3 downed inside the 20-yard line. He is already in midseason form.

QB Jon Kitna – While Kitna is not going to win the starting job, but it is nice to know that you have a capable backup if you need him. Kitna was efficient going 8 for 11 for 96 yards.

Players Who Failed To Impress

Offensive Line – Both the starters and the backups had a hard time with Oakland’s pass rush. They also failed to generate much of a push on running plays. The whole group has to be better moving forward.

WR Kevin Ogletree – As much as I like Ogletree, he had a bad game. He had 2 drops, and only 1 catch for 8 yards. He had two kick returns but did not turn any heads there either.

QB Stephen McGee – While McGee looked decent against the Bengals, he really struggled against the Raiders. He was on the run all night and went 2 for 7 gaining only 11 yards.

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