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Raiders-Cowboys preseason game: Las Vegas loses for first time this month

An instant review of the 3rd preseason game

NFL: Preseason-Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Raiders, Cowboys
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders played their final preseason game of the NFL season Saturday, at the Dallas Cowboys as the home team won 31-16.

Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:

Records: The Raiders went 2-1 in the preseason. The Cowboys finished 1-2.

What it means:

Raiders’ second-year coach Josh McDaniels suffered his first preseason loss in two years with the team. The Raiders had a six-game preseason winning streak snapped. It was the longest current preseason streak in the NFL.

Dallas dominated the game in which the backups played. The Cowboys opened the game with a touchdown drive.

First-round pick Tyree Wilson made his preseason debut. The No. 7 overall draft pick started practicing last week after being shelved with a foot injury. The edge rusher will surely be ready for the regular season opener at the Denver Broncos. So, all of the Raiders’ major offseason worries are behind them.

Wilson is ready. Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy and star running back Josh Jacobs has signed a one-year deal and he should be ready for Denver as well.

Wilson had one tackle against the Cowboys, He played on the opening drive. He showed strength as a pass-rusher and almost brought down Dallas starting quarterback Will Grier (the Cowboys’ fourth string quarterback who will soon be cut). Wilson struggled against the run on the opening drive.

The Raiders started preseason star rookie Aidan O’Connell at quarterback. They went three-and-out to start the game. O’Connell finished the game 17 of 28 for 178 yards with no touchdown passes or interceptions. For the preseason, O’Connell went an impressive 43 of 62 for 482 yards with three touchdown tosses and no picks with a sterling 108.4 passers’ rating. He had some rough moments Saturday night, but O’Connell was creative and poised and it was another overall solid euting.

Brian Hoyer didn’t play at all, so it may mean he will start the season as the No. 2 behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Chase Garbers, who could go back to the practice squad, finished the game at quarterback and did well.

The Raiders’ secondary struggled against Grier, who had his way against the Raiders all game long. There is going to be tough decision to be made by Tuesday’s deadline to set the initial 53-man roster. Veterans like David Long, Duke Shelley and Amik Robertson are all on the bubble.

Running Back Damien Williams, who is on the bubble, scored in the second quarter.

The Raiders’ backups struggled with tackling at points. The defensive line didn’t get a lot of pressure, either.

Raiders’ standout kicker Daniel Carlson is in mid-season form. He had three field goals including boots of 62 (yes, 62) and 50 yards. He’s such a weapon.

Running back Zamir White, the backup tailback again with Jacobs back in the fold, had just three yards on three carries. He didn’t have a great preseason as he had 86 yards on 26 carries.

Legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who is in the process of becoming a part owner of the Raiders, attended the game Saturday night.

Turning point:

Dallas controlled this game from the first drive. After dominating the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams in the first two preseason games, it was the Raiders’ turn to get dominated Saturday night.

Injury report:

Las Vegas didn’t report any injuries, which is key.

What’s next: The Raiders start the NFL season September 10 at the Denver Broncos. Kickoff is set for 1:25 pm PT. Thank goodness it’s almost time.