The time finally arrived last night. It was a long wait, but we finally got to see the Cowboys play their first preseason game of 2012. So what can someone really take out of the first preseason game? It was a game that many starters didn’t play in and many of those who did play won’t even make the team come the final cuts. So, do we go crazy that the offense couldn’t do anything or that the defense gave up some big plays early? Is it a big concern that the Cowboys had 12 penalties for 91 yards?
What we did see was an offensive line that was, well…offensive. There were no signs of a running game and all four quarterbacks were under pressure. The offensive line is by far the number one priority for the Cowboys and it needs to be straightened out before the start of the season. There are lot of injuries to the offensive line and because of that there is no chemistry. But again, this was the first preseason game so I wouldn’t go into panic mode just yet. I did see plenty of times where Doug Free and David Arkin were beat at the snap of the ball. Will the Cowboys continue to look for a veteran center this week? Conflicting reports say that former Cowboys center Andre Gurode may be coming in for a workout. What is certain is that offensive line coach Bill Callahan has his work cut out for him.
A few players who stood out were new starting safety Barry Church and third receiver hopeful Andre Holmes. Church seemed to be around the ball a lot and also showed some speed as he closed in on plays. Holmes caught 3 passes for 40 yards and looked good as he used his height to grab a few passes.
I refuse to go crazy after the first preseason game. I understand that many things did not look good against the Raiders, but there is time to get the injured players healthy and back on the field. Over the years I have put less importance on winning preseason games. I look more at the players and the execution as a team. I understand that offense; defense and special teams did not play well for the most part, but let’s see if there is any improvement going into the next few games. In the end the Cowboys did beat the Raiders 3-0, which is always nice, but the team has a long way to go before the start of the season.