Preseason Week One
There is probably no roster spot for him, but running back Keon Lattimore had a nice showing. Lattimore flashed quick feet and vision working between the tackles, making the most (11 carries, 55 yards) of his opportunities throughout the game.
Wide receiver Sam Hurd was flat-out ballin’. The fourth year receiver had five catches for 79 yards. During one stretch drive, Hurd and backup quarterback, Jon Kitna, were simply toying with the Raiders secondary. Hurd has built his body up well, and is a long ways away from the lanky string bean he was as a rookie.
The first string offense on its second possession of the game looked like a machine. The Cowboys put together an impressive nine play drive, covering 71 yards and resulting in a touchdown.
Offensive tackle Doug Free received extensive playing time and put together a solid performance in both run and pass blocking.
Rookie kicker David Buehler had a great game. Buehler had a touchback on one of his kickoffs and even made a tackle covering his own kick on another.
Point blank, Courtney Brown laid an egg. The Raiders were able to play pitch-and-catch on him anytime they wanted. I counted six receptions Brown gave up, not to mention two other passes that would have been completed on him had the QB not made poor throws. Brown simply looks tentative in coverage and generally out-matched out there.
Cowboys’ seventh rounder, Mike Mickens had a rough professional debut. Mickens picked up a couple penalties, missed a few tackles and gave up a number of catches, including a touchdown in the red zone.
One name, Wade Phillips. Wade’s decision to let vital young receivers Sam Hurd and Miles Austin play on kickoff and punt coverage units in the first preseason game is a head scratcher.
The team’s run defense deserves a knock. The Raider running backs gashed the Cowboys defense for 176 yards on 26 carries for a gaudy 6.8 yards per carry. I suppose some of the team’s poor tackling could be attributed to Phillip’s non-tackling approach in camp.
Things you might have missed…
12:40 – First Qtr: On a deep ball to rookie Darrius Heyward-Bay, Ken Hamlin looked to have had what would have been an easy interception had teammate Orlando Scandrick not blanketed him as if he were the wide receiver.
3:25 – First Qtr: JaMarcus Russell made Cowboy linebacker look a bit silly by shaking him in the open field. The 6’6”, 260 lb Russell is known to be a good athlete, but Spencer made him look like Mike Vick (circa 2006), as Russell left him whiffing at his knees on an open field tackle during a scramble.
0:24 – Second Qtr: On a third-and-goal (on the 18 yard line), Kitna found Isaiah Stanback in the corner of the end zone. Kitna lofted a nice ball over the defensive back, and Stanback timed his jump well but was unable to come down with it despite getting both hands on it.
14:52 – Fourth Qtr: Rookie linebacker Jason Williams gave Cowboy fans a glimpse of his athleticism as he chased Raider’s quarterback, Charlie Frye, out the pocket and towards the sideline to force an incompletion on third down.