I was impressed with the safety play of Gerald Sensabaugh and Barry Church. Both were aggressive in the running game, but more importantly, each played with range.
Where the defense struggled last season was in the ability of the safeties to make a play with the ball in the air. Sensabaugh's interception was well defended in two areas: He made an outstanding read of the route, then was athletic enough to get himself in position to pull down the pick.
Church has shown in this camp his ability to play with awareness and drive on the ball with power. This was a trait that he was able to carry over to the first quarter of this game, driving on inside routes and making a physical tackle.
I was surprised the first secondary struggled on the outside with their aggressiveness. In the routes that the Raiders were able to complete, there was too much space or separation. All through camp they have had played a press-man style, but in this game they allowed receivers up the field and into routes. The Raiders helped the Cowboys with some drops of passes that could have been big plays.
The first offensive line had been doing a nice job in camp creating holes for the running backs to get through, but tonight that wasn't the case. The point-of-attack blocking was not able to get the movement necessary to successfully run the ball. There were plenty of times when both DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones were stopped before they were able to even get going.
The second line did a much better job of getting that necessary push. Jermey Parnell and Derrick Dockery on the left side were able to create more movement, giving the running game a chance.
In the passing attack, the first line had a couple of technique busts, the biggest one I noticed being when David Arkin didn't hold his block long enough on the screen, which allow a pressure inside.
At receiver, Andre Holmes was able to separate himself from the others competing for the third spot with some nice catches. Cole Beasley played in the slot and returned punts, but wasn't the factor that we all thought he could be.