1. Offensive Line– The first thing I noticed from Friday’s game in Oakland was how much time Tony Romo had to throw. I know there’s been several questions along the offensive line, but the unit only allowed one sack, and that was a “coverage” sack. They gave Romo all the time in the world to find receivers down the field, and opened up big enough lanes for DeMarco Murray. The somewhat unreliable interior lineman performed quite well for the Cowboys. Help also might be on the way as the team is toying with signing veteran Brian Waters to add to their depth.
2. Monte Kiffin’s Defense– The Cowboys forced two turnovers Friday night to bring their grand total to four for the preseason. Sean Lee absolutely crushed Oakland Quarterback Matt Flynn forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jason Hatcher. The turnover resulted in a Dan Bailey field goal. In addition, J.J. Wilcox picked off Terrelle Pryor in the end zone to save an otherwise mediocre performance on D to end the first half. DeMarcus Ware, who had a relatively quiet stat line, was absolutely unblockable in the game.
3. Tony Romo/Dez Bryant Connection– Tony and Dez picked up where they left off last season. On the team’s second drive Romo was 4 for 4 for 66 yards, with Dez catching 3 of those balls for 55 yards. The duo was on the same page all night, with no stronger proof than on their 26 yard connection. Romo pump faked a defender up in to the air, and Bryant adjusted his route, turning the pass into a big play for the Cowboys. There’s no doubt the offense runs through No. 88.
1. Special Teams– The special teams unit was atrocious Friday night taking a giant leap backward. Dan Bailey had a field goal blocked, but it didn’t end there. The ‘Boys allowed a 51-yard kick return, had several mental mistakes, and among those mistakes was a muffed punt. Hopefully they work out the rough spots in practice. Head Coach Jason Garrett praised the unit’s effort but chided their execution.
2. B.W. Webb– Webb looked lost all night on the field at corner. He struggled in pass coverage, and was the one who muffed the punt in the 4th quarter to all but seal the game winning FG for the Raiders. Webb was called out by Garrett who said the rookie is someone who can’t afford to have bad nights. It is still a widespread assumption that Webb will make the team. I believe he will still come in as the teams No. 4 corner.
3. Joseph Randle– Randle has actually performed quite well so far in the preseason, and that continued in Oakland. Randle has displayed good vision and surely isn’t afraid of bracing contact. He’s been impressive, but just not as impressive as Lance Dunbar and Philip Tanner. It seems as if the battle for the backup role is now only between Dunbar and Tanner. Although talented, I don’t see Randle getting the ball much as the No. 4 RB on the depth chart.