The starting defense looks ready for the regular season. Terence Newman nearly intercepted a pass on the first play of the game. Bradie James and Keith Brooking were both flying around the field.
I really tried to focus on Alan Ball but he is usually lined up so far off the ball that he isn't on the screen during the play. I want to really see what he can do but I feel like I might need to be at the game in order to see what he is doing down the field.
The first team offense still needs work. Once again they drove right down the field only to fall apart in the red zone. They got Jason Witten, Miles Austin, Felix Jones, and Marion Barber all involved on the first drive but Romo was sacked two out of three plays after they reached the Raider 16 yard line. Roy Williams was really struggling with the tight bump and run coverage the Raiders gave him. The second drive by the starters ended in a punt with a slant to Austin being the only highlight. The starting offense definitely has not found their regular season form yet.
I loved the creativity of Jason Garrett to use an extra tackle on offense instead of throwing out a random street free agent tight end with the starting offense. Pat McQuistan was basically the #2 tight end with Marty B. still rehabbing his ankle.
David Buehler took advantage of the bad red zone offense by nailing a 42 yard field goal right down the middle. His first field goal looked better than any of his kicks last week. His second field goal was from 27 yards and was no problem. He made another from 28 yards right down the middle in the 4th quarter.
Bryan McCann made a great play on a deep ball at cornerback. He is going to make the team if he can keep it up for a few more weeks. McCann also returned a couple of punts. One of the returns went about 25 yards. The Cowboys might have found something in McCann.
Junior Siavii made a great play on a bull rush to get a sack. He'll probably be the backup defensive tackle again this season. There really isn't anyone else on the roster with a any shot of taking his spot.
Doug Free gave up a sack but it was more due to Kitna holding the ball too long than anything else. Free played pretty well overall again.
Matt McBriar kicked a ball nearly 80 yards in the air out of the end zone. That was probably the longest punt in the air I have ever seen in my life. He kicked it from the back of the end zone to the 30 on the other side of the field. And it was in Cowboys Stadium with the roof closed so it wasn't like he had help from the wind.
The second team defense was really soft up the middle against the run. They were matched up against the Raiders starting offense but they were getting blown off the ball up the middle. They did stiffen up once the Raiders put in their #2 defense. Jason Williams really looks like an improved player in his second season.
Jon Kitna really does not have good pocket presence. He takes a lot of unnecessary hits because he doesn't seem to feel the pass rush around him. It appears he could step up or sidestep on most plays to avoid the rush.
Tashard Choice looked very good with the second team offense. He is good enough to get on the field more than he does. The Cowboys are stacked at running back which is kind of sad for Tashard because he deserves more playing time than the Cowboys can give him. It is nice to know that he can step up if Felix Jones or Marion Barber go down.
It seems like Kevin Ogletree plays to the level of the guys around him. He had two passes knocked out of his hands that he probably should have come down with. I have a feeling he would have made the catches if it was a real game.
I'm starting to think that Stephen McGee doesn't have what it takes at the NFL level. I wish they would give him a little time with the second team offense so we could really judge his ability. McGee seems to have a hard time pulling the trigger when the patterns are down the field. I think his favorite pass is the check down to the running back.
Robert Brewster needs to be moved to guard. He looks like a guard and he doesn't appear to be quick enough to handle the duties of tackle. Maybe he is still rusty from his off year but I'll be surprised if he isn't move inside in the next year or two.