The Dallas Cowboys defense held the Oakland Raiders' offense to 164 yards of passin..."/> The Dallas Cowboys defense held the Oakland Raiders' offense to 164 yards of passin..."/>

Quick Reactions to Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders: Defense


The Dallas Cowboys defense held the Oakland Raiders’ offense to 164 yards of passing and 89 yards rushing; they surrendered no points, but the Raiders’ missed two FG attempts.  There are fewer important question marks on the defensive side of the roster than the offense, so I was trying to focus my attention on the players competing for back-up spots in the front 7.  Several players had good games.

Individual Performaces/Plays Worthy of Note:

– Alex Albright, an undrafted rookie last season, played most of the game, and led the team in tackles with 9.

– Relatively unknown DE Ben Bass, an undrafted rookie from Texas A&M, had 4 tackles and an assist, including a sack. He showed great hustle in the 3rd quarter when he chased down the RB from behind about 6 yards downfield. He also had what must be one of the plays of the game when he tackled the ball-carrier for a loss on 3rd down: the tackle resulted in a longer FG attempt for the Raiders on 4th down; the attempt was unsuccessful.

– Gerald Sensabaugh showed good range, keen ball awareness, and excellent hands when he picked off a Carlson Palmer pass to end the Raiders’ first possession.

– DeMarcus Ware got a sack in the first quarter, but the QB held the ball for so long that at least some of the credit must be given to the coverage in the secondary.

– Barry Church made a great open-field tackle of the Raider receiver to stop him from gaining a 1st down. The tackle forced Oakland to punt for the second time. Church, who was an undrafted rookie in 2010, is looking like he will be the starting safety opposite Gerald Sensabaugh in his 3rd NFL season.

– Victor Butler continues to show that he can be extremely effective rushing the QB. He also made a nice play on the Raider’s 4th possession where he shed a blocker and then forced the RB to cut back into Alex Albright for a loss.  It would be shocking if Butler doesn’t get the chance to rush the passer more often this season.

– Marcus Spears, a former first round pick who is fighting for a roster spot, had 4 tackles, all of them resulting in short gains by the RB.

– Danny McCray made a great special teams play to knock a punt out of bounds inside the 5 yardline. McCray is a special teams dynamo.

– Orie Lemon, a undrafted rookie just last season, on the first possession of the 2nd half, did an excellent job of forcing the elusive Tyrele Pryor out of bounds on a 3rd down to force a punt.

– Adrian Hamilton, an undrafted rookie from Prairie View A&M looked good in the 2nd half.  He had a tackle for a loss, but also showed an ability to put pressure on the QB. Hamilton was one of the few Cowboy defenders who tackled Pryor one-on-one in the open field.

– Kyle Wilbur, this years 4th round pick, was off to a great start before he broke his thumb.  Preliminary reports from the Mothership say he will be out about 4 weeks.  He played with good speed and quickness off the edge, showing an ability to get the QB.  You can bet that Rob Ryan will find a way to Wilbur’s pass-rushing ability this season.

General Observations:

– we saw a pretty basic defensive scheme from the Cowboys.  Although they utilized a variety of different fronts (3-4, 4-3, and 4-2), Rob Ryan did not employ any sophisticated blitz schemes or pass coverages.

– for most of the day the Cowboys played 2 safeties deep with both CB’s playing man-to-man.  It was interesting to see that Ryan used the man-to-man coverage even with the inexperienced CB’s like C. J. Wilson and Teddy Williams.

– the pass defense still looks vulnerable to short/intermediate passing routes in the middle of the field.

– the defense was fooled by misdirection plays and screens several times.

Akwasi Awusa-Onsah looked decent in coverage on most of the plays.  I think he may have been playing CB or in the slot rather than safety, but I am not sure.

Bruce Carter started at OLB in place of injured Anthony Spencer.

– the defense commited a penalty on 4th down to give Oakland a first down on at least 3 different occasions. They also had a couple penalties on 3rd down to give Oakland a fresh set of downs.

All of the units have a lot of work to do before they face San Diego.

If you are not following us on Facebook or  Twitter, the Giants’ Fans are winning.