The Dallas Cowboys received a solid effort from QB Tony Romo in his first action of the NFL preseason, but ultimately went down in defeat to the host Oakland Raiders by a 31-10 final score. Romo went three and out in his first series, but orchestrated a nice drive on his second go-round culminating in an eight yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten. Oakland’s first team struggled, but their reserves badly outplayed their Dallas counterparts in securing the win.
Romo did receive some criticism for hooking up with his longtime favorite target Witten rather than involve the rest of the offense. There’s been a lot of concern about the need to develop more long yardage passing threats after the departure of Terrell Owens. After the game, he brushed aside this talk:
“I don’t think it means anything. If one guy caught six straight balls and then we scored, that’s fine, too. It’s just about whatever the defense allows us on that specific play.”
Receiver Roy Williams caught one pass on the evening, and gave his vote of confidence on the Cowboys offense:
“If we execute like that, any team is going to have trouble. But we’re going to have our adversity and have our hard times where we can’t get open or the quarterback gets sacked or a bad throw. But tonight it all fell into place.”
Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell didnt produce quite as well as Romo in only two series of action, but Oakland coach Bruce Cable still gave him props for a good effort:
“I thought he was very aggressive with the ball, made good decisions. That’s what I’m talking about with him. When he plays the game at a fast enough speed, it allows him to be on time and he showed that tonight.”
The story of the rest of the game was the mistake filled play of the Cowboys reserves and the opportunistic effort of the Raiders second stringers. Cowboys coach Wade Phillips chalked the loss up to a learning experience:
“Our second group and our young guys, they made a lot of mistakes. You could see them out there. Those things shouldn’t happen but they did. Our guys will learn from those things.”
The Cowboys will continue their NFL preseason play hosting the Tennessee Titans on Friday night. Oakland, meanwhile travel across the bay to play their local rivals the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. Dallas begins the NFL regular season on Sunday, September 13th at Tampa Bay. Oakland will start their 2009 NFL campaign at home against the San Diego Chargers on Monday, September 14th.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance writer and respected authority on baseball betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.