The Cowboys took a 17-16 lead over the Oakland Raiders early in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ second preseason game on Friday evening. The defense then did its job, forcing a three-and-out after the Raiders returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards.
However, rookie B.W. Webb could not handle the punt and fumbled, giving the ball back to the Raiders. Oakland’s Eddy Carmona kicked a 23-yard field goal that turned out to be the game-winner, as Oakland beat the Cowboys 19-17.
The fumble was one of several mistakes made by the backups in the second half. Both of the Cowboys’ turnovers happened in the second half, and both let to points. The first mistake was Nick Stevens’ interception on the Cowboys’ opening drive of the second half. The pick led to a Raider field goal.
The loss ruined Tony Romo’s preseason debut. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 88 yards. Kyle Orton was also sharp, completing all 6 of his attempts for 52 yards and a nice touchdown throw to Cole Beasley.
The starting defense looked very good. Sean Lee forced a Matt Flynn fumble on Oakland’s opening drive of the game. However, the Cowboys stalled on the resulting drive, as the team went backwards and had to settle for a field goal.
Romo also directed a good drive late in the first quarter, finding Dez Bryant on gains of 26 and 15 yards. However, the drive stalled, and Oakland blocked Dan Bailey’s field-goal attempt.
The defense had a difficult time stopping the Raiders’ offense when Terrelle Pryor entered the game. The Dallas back-ups did not appear ready to stop the read-option.
On the other hand, rookie J.J. Wilcox was able to end a long Raider drive when he picked off Pryor in the end zone. The Cowboys turned around and drove 80 yards for a touchdown to take a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. Dallas led 10-6 at the half.
The Cowboys travel to Arizona on Saturday, August 17 to face the Cardinals.