The Dennis Allen era got under way Monday night at the O.co Coliseum, but the Raiders’ new coach will have to wait at least a few more days to get his first NFL win — and to see his offense score its first points.
Allen and the Raiders opened the exhibition season with a 3-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on “Monday Night Football,” although Oakland running back Darren McFadden played well in his brief stint.
The Cowboys scored the game’s only points on Dan Bailey’s 33-yard field goal with 8:02 left in the third quarter. The Raiders had a chance to tie it with 6:44 left to play, but backup kicker Eddy Carmona missed from 36 yards, hooking his attempt wide right.
Raiders third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who didn’t take a snap in preseason last year, took over with 7:53 left in the third quarter. Like starter Carson Palmer and backup Matt Leinart before him, Pryor failed to put any points on the board. Pryor, though, did make some personal history, recording his first two completions as a Raider, on his second series. However, his final pass of the night was picked off by safety Mana Silva with under a minute to play.
“I think there’s obviously some positives in the game,” Allen said. “I thought our first-team defense played exceptionally well. I was really pleased with the way Darren McFadden played there in the first quarter. There’s some positives. We got a lot of young guys a lot of reps. But at the end of the day, the execution’s not where it needs to be and we got to be better.”
The Raiders’ starters on offense didn’t come close to reaching the end zone in the first quarter, but they still had reason to celebrate. They can thank McFadden for that. The running back put on a brief but impressive show in his first game since suffering a season-ending Lisfranc sprain of his right foot in Week 7 last year against Kansas City.
On the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage, McFadden shot around right end for 4 yards. On second down, he went in motion right, cut upfield, caught Palmer’s strike and raced 18 yards. Then on the Raiders’ next play, McFadden powered over left guard and gained 16 more yards.
“Pretty special,” Palmer said of McFadden. “Just great to have him in the huddle. Great to see him on the field. Just excited to keep working with him.”