Thoughts from the Cowboys-Raiders preseason game:
*Have no clue why Wade Phillips didn’t try the field goal before the half for David Buehler. Isn’t this training camp about evaluating your players?
The biggest question mark left in this camp is if David Buehler is going to be the starting placekicker in 2010, period. Buehler should have had that opportunity to kick a 30-yard field goal. I understand, it’s only 30 yards and Buehler has been money from every where on the field except from 49 yards against Cincinnati. Which leads me to this question, are you really evaluating your kicker or is your mind already made up that it is his job?
If you are still evaluating Buehler, let him kick. If not, announce him as the starter and move forward, but not giving him the opportunity to gain confidence of himself and his teammates was puzzling.
*Marc Colombo is never pretty in the way he plays as an offensive tackle but in 2008, he was the most consistent linemen on the squad.
Colombo’s 2009 was cut short by injury, but he managed to work his way back into the lineup for the last game of the season and then the two playoff games. Against Minnesota, Colombo had the worst game of his Cowboys’ career. Wade Phillips offered that he should not allowed Colombo to return to the lineup because he wasn’t completely healthy.
In studying Colombo, he did not appear to struggle in either of the Eagles games, so what happened to him in the Minnesota game was surprising. In the Raiders contest, Colombo once again struggled with the edge rusher.
The Raiders’ Lamarr Houston is a nice young player that shows some good quickness off the edge, but it’s something that Colombo hasn’t seen all camp. The interesting thing is that Colombo didn’t have those struggles against the Bengals.
In San Antonio, there were reps where Colombo just wasn’t quick enough getting out of his stance and allowing his corner or edge to be taken. Maybe it’s a technique flaw that he needs to work through these last three preseason games, but he needs to try and find that consistency he enjoyed in 2008.
*Was it too much to ask this football team to have to play two preseason games five days apart after two weeks of training camp? As banged up as this team is right now, I have to give them credit for fighting through and not suffering any further injuries.
This appeared to be a tired football team in the second half. The situation that you have to remember is that these second- and third-teamers played the majority of the Cincinnati game too. It showed with lack of execution on both sides of the ball. Breakdowns, mistakes were all part of the game.
There is a side of me that believes that the work that Wade Phillips and this squad will do will lead to a much better showing in San Diego. Players will have the opportunity to work in outstanding weather on a grass field and the coaches will be able to teach and correct mistakes through practice and not have to worry about the quick turnaround of another preseason game.
Look for this team to be sharper and better prepared against the Chargers.