NFL Preseason, Raiders At Cowboys: Oakland Is Clutch In 17-9 Victory

The Oakland Raiders beat the Dallas Cowboys in the first of four preseason games. For more on the team, go to Silver And Black Pride, SB Nation's Oakland Raiders blog.

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NFL Preseason, Raiders At Cowboys: Oakland's Defense Is Strong In Win

It's hard to tell at times, but this Oakland Raiders team is better than the team of last year. On offense, on defense - through and through this team is improved. They're not world beaters just yet, tonight's perfomance showed they're far from it, but they have something to build on.

Jason Campbell played the first quarter but his passing attempts were limited. Still, he looked mostly competent, going 7-of-12 for a small chunk of yardage. He definitely showed more accuracy than JaMarcus Russell, though it seemed like most passes were just off the mark. Something that perhaps more time to work with his receivers will fix.

Oakland's receivers didn't do any of the quarterbacks many favors. No catch was particularly spectacular save perhaps one, but they did end up catching most of the balls they should have caught. The running backs all looked pretty good, with Michael Bennett shining in particular. However, it was pretty hard to gauge just how good the running backs could be when the offensive line was hardly even there.

It'll be the biggest hole on the Raiders offense, which is probably better than having the worst quarterback in the league, so Oakland boasts at least one major improvement on a unit that needs to be able to put points on the board in support of the defense.

Did we mention the defense? It seemed like the starting (or projected starting) defensive line made its way through the offensive line on every single play. They were consistently in the backfield, and rookie Lamarr Houston illustrated just why he should be a starter on said line. The rest of the defense played well, with the exception of a few bad plays, namely from starting right cornerback Chris Johnson. Johnson seemed like he was shaking off an awful lot of rust all game.

Dallas started strong, moving the ball down the field with several big plays and strong consistency, but fizzled out later in the game. The defense was strong throughout, and both teams played with intensity. Guys were flying around and hitting hard, and it's a wonder that there weren't any injuries of note to worry about.

Dallas' next game is at San Diego, whereas the Raiders travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears.

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