I was surprised that offensive coordinator Bill Callahan did not try to build on what he did last week running the ball with this offensive line and DeMarco Murray. He opened the game in his three-wide receiver package and used Tony Romo to throw the ball out of that attack.
My live look from the radio booth was that the line was able to hold up for the majority of the plays even though there was one sack – the coverage down the field for the Raiders was outstanding on that play, which resulted in the sack.
I was impressed with how Miles Austin played tonight and his ability, along with Dez Bryant, to make plays. I was pleased once again to see Bryant adjust his route on the slant when the corner jumped inside, but it was an even better play by Romo to pull the ball back and make the throw down the field to Bryant.
I thought that Kyle Orton was on and after a rocky start, and Nick Stephens made some solid plays. Tight end Gavin Escobar did a much better job of blocking tonight and Cole Beasley was unstoppable out of the slot. I didn't think he was at his best last week, but in this game he did a nice job of making plays when they needed him to.
It was nice to see Travis Frederick get plenty of work playing at both center and guard. I am looking forward to watching tape of the game to see if he was any better at guard, but there looked like several plays where he was in the right position.
On defense, the early pressure from Sean Lee and DeMarcus Ware was a welcomed sight. Bruce Carter was also active, but I was a little disappointed in Barry Church, who missed a couple of tackles in space before stepping up in the hole and making a tackle at the point of attack, which was nice.
Nick Hayden was paired with Jason Hatcher inside on the defensive line with Ernie Sims getting some work on the outside. I really like what I am seeing from Sims in his quest to potentially win that Sam linebacker spot from Justin Durant.
Kyle Wilber played a great deal at defensive end, but wore down. He wasn't as effective as he was last week. Devonte Holloman once again showed up with some physical plays, taking on blocks and getting to the ball, and J.J. Wilcox had his moments of good and bad. His interception right before half was a key play and a smart one on his part, but later he took a terrible angle to the ball and the result was a large gain to put the Raiders in field goal range.
Special teams had their own struggles with a missed Dan Bailey field goal when it appeared that David Arkin got turned and allowed the rusher inside for the block. There was also the 51-yard kickoff return by Greg Jenkins when several players were knocked to the ground, but the real backbreaker was the muffed punt by B.W. Webb that led to the go-ahead field goal for the Raiders.
It was a long night for the special teams, even though they have spent considerable practice time in camp to eliminate these types of errors.