Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie running back Joseph Randle
The Cowboys began the preseason against Miami by rushing the ball 34 times for a total of 170 yards. Numerous ball-carriers had solid outings against the Dolphins last week.
In Oakland, Dallas looked more like the unbalanced offense that we've seen in recent seasons, regardless of who the play-caller was or is.
The Cowboys only ran the ball 20 times for 70 yards against the Raiders while scoring a single touchdown on the ground.
In this case, the number of carries wasn't as much the problem as the 3.5-yard average they posted was.
Dallas clearly has concerns on the offensive line, despite the encouraging preseason opener against the Dolphins. Leading up to the game in Oakland, the Cowboys were trying to sign free-agent offensive guard Brandon Moore, an aging lineman who signed and then decided to retire within a matter of hours—probably a good thing given that Moore is remembered well for a play known as "butt fumble."
No, Dallas doesn't need "butt fumbles," but it does need a right guard, and 2012 free-agent guard Mackenzy Bernadeau is not proving to be the answer. Third-year veteran David Arkin isn't proving himself much more valuable either, at least according to SportsDayDFW.com columnist Rick Gosselin.
The Cowboys knew they had questions on the offensive line following a completely underwhelming performance in 2012. While they addressed the center position with 2013 first-round selection Travis Frederick in April's NFL draft, they went after a pass-catching tight end who can't run-block in Gavin Escobar in the second round.
That really hurts right about now.
Don't rule out the possibility of Frederick spending more and more time at guard, out of necessity, if Dallas thinks that Phil Costa can both stay healthy and play well at center heading into his fourth season.