Saturday, August 10, 2013
Romo pleased despite missed chances
By Calvin Watkins
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys' first-team offense produced just three points in Friday night's 19-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum.
The Cowboys defense set up the offense by forcing a turnover, but penalties, a hold on Jason Witten, a deflection on a screen pass and a sack forced the Cowboys into long down and distance. Quarterback Tony Romo completed an 11-yard pass to Miles Austin that set up a 38-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
"It was good," Tony Romo said of the Cowboys' first-team offense. "We did what we’ve been doing in training camp and moved the ball real well."
Romo said he was hoping for another chance, and he got one, producing a drive that got to the Raiders' 19-yard line. But DeMarco Murray came up a yard short of the first-down marker on third down to force a field goal try that was blocked.
Romo finished 6-of-8 passing for 88 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He was sacked once but felt the line, in general, gave him solid protection. He got great protection on the sack, but he missed a wide-open Austin in the back of the end zone.
"It was good," Romo said of the first-team offense. "We did what we’ve been doing in training camp and moved the ball real well. We were holding back on a lot of our stuff, red zone stuff and some other things. We would have liked to have scored a touchdown, but we got hurt by penalties more than anything, and that aspect of it is just going to hurt you no matter what. So we have to avoid that [and] stress that this week, and we’re going to make sure that stops."
Coach Jason Garrett was happy with Romo's play but noted that the run game wasn't as effective as in the first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys ran for 70 yards on 20 carries with Phillip Tanner's 25 yards on seven carries leading the way.
"I thought Tony got into a little bit of a groove with that second drive throwing the ball to Dez [Bryant]," Garrett said. "And I thought Miles did some good things. I thought we protected well. We didn’t run the ball quite as well as we did last week. We seemed to throw the ball a little bit better."
The Cowboys have stressed that they will use more two-tight end sets this season, but they didn't use one Friday until their ninth offensive play. Instead, the Cowboys employed more three-receiver sets on their first two possessions with the first team.
The first touchdown of the game came from the second unit as backup quarterback Kyle Orton connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley.
It was progress, but the Cowboys know they have work to do.
"We got to work on a bunch of things," said Austin, who caught two passes for 22 yards. "That's what we're going to do."