The Raiders hosted the Dallas Cowboys as they took the field at O.Co Coliseum for their first preseason game of the 2013 campaign.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Raiders were quickly put in their first tough position of the season after Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee got in untouched to sack and forced the fumble on Matt Flynn on the fourth play of the drive.
Much to the pleasure of head coach Dennis Allen, his defense responded by forcing the Cowboys to go three and out and limit them to just three points. After a holding call on the Cowboys, defensive end Jack Crawford got his hand up to knock a screen pass down followed by rookie linebacker Sio Moore recording his first sack. The defense then held Miles Austin short of the first-down line on third down to force the field goal attempt.
Moore said it helped to just get on the field and play football to get his nervousness out.
“Man, it just helped being able to play, to tell you the honest truth. Mike Jenkins came up to me before the game and was just like ‘Alignment. Know your assignment and the rest will happen as it come.’ I was just excited to be out there with guy.”
On his second drive of the game, Flynn drove the offense down the field with a 12-play, 49-yard drive that culminated in a 51-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski to tie the game at 3-3.
Romo and the Cowboys’ offense was able to move the ball downfield their next attempt, driving to the Raiders eight-yard line but was once again limited to a field goal attempt. This time, safety Tyvon Branch got behind the line and blocked Dan Bailey’s attempt. The block was recovered by middle linebacker Nick Roach and returned to the Raiders 19 yard line.
Flynn finished his part of the game 4-5 for 37 yards and the one fumble.
Pryor came into the game for the Raiders first series of the second quarter and quickly made his presence felt as he used his athleticism to rush the ball for 13 yards. Pryor showed off his running ability on three occasions, finishing with a total of 31 yards.
Pryor’s first drive included three third-down conversions and got the offense all the way to the Cowboys’ six-yard line. Pryor then failed to get the play called in time and was forced to burn a timeout. The timeout preceded an ill-advised throw in which the young quarterback threw it into triple coverage and Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox came down with the interception.
“I looked at the pictures and I could have easily ran it in, but I got greedy,” Pryor said of his interception.
After replacing Romo on the next drive, veteran Kyle Orton drove down the field 80 yards on 10 plays that culminated in a perfect touchdown pass to Cole Beasley who beat Raiders cornerback Joselio Hanson.
Pryor’s second chance to get the Raiders back on the board came with just 36 seconds left before halftime. After driving the team down to the Cowboys’ 22-yard line with a couple of nice passes, Pryor built on his experience from the interception and threw the ball away twice instead of trying to force the pass. The Raiders were able to come away with another field goal to take the score to 10-6 heading into halftime.
“At the end of the day, God has given me a chance to play this game and he’s given me an opportunity to learn, and I learned right there,” Pryor said of his interception the drive before. “As long as you can take one or two things out, and I learned one thing for sure, don’t turn the ball over there, don’t force anything and don’t be greedy. I’ll never do that again and that will never happen to me again.”
The Raiders lone touchdown came in the third quarter with undrafted-rookie Matt McGloin airing out a well-thrown 30-yard touchdown reception to rookie wide receiver Brice Butler who made a beautiful diving catch.
“I knew Matt [McGloin] was coming to me. In practice, every time I do it with him he throws it to me,” Butler said of his touchdown reception. “I was running down the field, I could see the ball in the air. I’m running and I was like ‘my legs aren’t giving me what I need right now’ so I just dove and I just caught it. And after that I didn’t know what to do with myself, I just started running.”
The touchdown gave the Raiders a 16-10 lead, but the Raiders would have to fight back late in the game to retake the lead after another Dallas touchdown gave the Cowboys a 17-16 lead.
With rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson struggling, the Raiders punted the ball away but the Cowboys’ receiver muffed Marquette King’s punt and the Raiders recovered on the Dallas nine-yard line.
Though Wilson was unable to get the ball in the endzone, Eddy Carmona gave the Raiders the lead again with a field goal to put his team up 19-17.
The Cowboys had one more chance late in the game but Dallas quarterback Alex Tanney was unable to advance the ball and his fourth and 10 attempt was dropped by his receiver, giving the ball back to the Raiders and allowing Wilson to take a knee three times in a row to seal the Raiders victory.
The Raiders return to camp on Sunday and head to New Orleans for their next game, taking place on Aug. 17, 2013.
Audio from today’s interviews: