I’m not going to make too much out of the first preseason game win over the Cowboys because, well, it was the first preseason game after all. Although I’ll note that it was Dallas’ second.
The offense didn’t look much better than the 2009 version, but a new QB needs time with a new system and receivers. I’m optimistic things will improve. The two things that stuck out was that the WR corps needs a veteran (Terrell Owens might have been a good signing) and the center position is weak. Satele is no Samson – he was run over and through at least a couple of times. Maybe Veldheer will be moved up from 2nd team. DHB had one pass thrown his way and it was broken up because he didn’t go get the ball – sound familiar?
Defense, especially against the run, looked much improved, but I need to see more to get too excited about it.
The game was not very well played, but the hardest part about sitting through a preseason game where the starters only play about a quarter, is sitting through a preseason game against Dallas with their homer announcing team. NFL Network used to do half the game with each team’s announcers, but I guess the rules are different when Dallas is playing. I didn’t think it was possible to be worse than the Redskin announcers in terms of shameless rooting for the local team, but these Dallas guys easily surpass them. I mean, they didn’t even have the courtesy to give us the Raider starters’ names. That’s plain rude. The most attention they gave the Raiders was when they mocked them for their “Team of the Decades” motto, the many underachieving first round draft picks on the roster, the Jamarcus Russell debacle, or when they committed a penalty. The typical “there go the Raiders again” spiel.
They win their first playoff game in about 15 years and their fairly recent mediocrity is forgotten, while no one seems to remember the Raiders’ 2003 Super Bowl appearance, the infamous tuck call that robbed them of a Super Bowl the year before, and Tony Siragusa’s pancake tackle on Rich Gannon in the 2000 AFC Championship game.
Evidently, this Dallas team has no weaknesses and it’s just a foregone conclusion that they’ll be in the Super Bowl in 2011….a handful of players that they’ll cut will end up starting for other teams. Blah, blah blah. Almost as bad as the Patriots and their fans in the media.
Back to the Silver and Black – I liked what I saw with Michael Bennett, but I also like Rock Cartwright’s versatility. Hope they are able to keep both. Yamon Figures looked best among the WRs and he can return punts, so JLH might be sent packing. It’s early, so we’ll see. The offense and Jason Campbell must improve though. I’m confident they will, but WRs and the OL could use help.