7 Thoughts on Cowboys vs Raiders
At NBC, I posted some thoughts on the game:
- Jason Witten was called for an early holding penalty. He’s still a good blocker, but his in-line play has deteriorated over the past few seasons. Martellus Bennett was far superior in the running game when he was here. Last year, defenses sacked Romo on 5.2 percent of his dropbacks, but 7.1 percent of them when Witten stayed in to block.
- We saw more screens for Dallas, and that’s a welcome sight. Remember, the Cowboys ran eight (yes, eight!) total screens to running backs in 2012. That’s probably the easiest way to take pressure off of the offensive line.
- After the 2012 season, I published an article called “Cowboys Rarely Ran Outside Tackles in 2012”—pretty self-explanatory. Dallas ran inside the tackles 237 times in 2012, but only 89 of their runs were outside. It’s much different this year with Bill Callahan calling the plays, as it should be. The rate of five, 10, and 20-yard runs has always been much higher for Dallas when they get the ball to the perimeter.