The Oakland Raiders defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-10 at the Oakland Coliseum in the preseason opener for both teams. TE Tony Stewart, RBs Louis Rankin and Gary Russell and WR Will Franklin each found the end zone for the Silver and Black.
The Cowboys won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. After a short kickoff return and a penalty, the Cowboys were backed up in the own end and could not move the ball. After P Matt McBriar's punt, the Raiders moved the ball swiftly and were aided by a pass interference penalty. K Sebastian Janikowski capped off the seven-play, 64-yard drive with a 22-yard field goal and the Raiders took a 3-0 lead.
QB Tony Romo and the Cowboys answered on their next drive. Romo found TE Jason Whitten in the back of the end zone with an eight-year touchdown pass that capped a nine-play, 71-yard drive. Dallas took a 7-3 lead with 5:16 left in the 1st quarter.
Bruce Gradkowski took over at quarterback for JaMarcus Russell late ion the first quarter and promptly drove the Silver and Black into scoring range. Gradkowski connected with TE Tony Stewart for a three-yard scoring strike that culminated a five-play, 62-yard drive. The TD toss gave the Raiders a 10-7 lead.
FS Michael Huff prevented a Dallas score when he covered more than half the width of the field to intercept a QB Jon Kitna pass at the Oakland 6-yard line. Neither team was able to score before halftime as K Nick Folk missed a 36-yard field goal attempt. The first half ended with a RB Michael Bush run.
Rookie TE Brandon Myers 18-yard catch set the Raiders up with 1st and goal at the 3. RB Louis Rankin punched it in on the next play and capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive and gave the Raiders a 17-7 lead with 11:57 left in the third quarter.
Dallas cut into the lead when K David Buehler connected on a 39-yard field goal to finish an 8-play, 44-yard drive and the Cowboys trailed 17-10.
Rookie WR Nick Miller made an amazing, juggling, diving catch for a 47-yard gain to the Cowboys 2-yard line. RB Gary Russell punched it in from a yard out two plays later and the Raiders took a 24-10 lead with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
After the Cowboys went three-and-out, Charlie Frye took the controls at quarterback for the Raiders.
Frye led the Raiders on an early fourth quarter scoring drive after a Dallas turnover. Frye connected with WR Will Franklin on a 2-yard TD pass to put the Raiders up 31-10 with just under 10:00 left in the game.
Dallas threatened one more time but the Raiders defense stopped the Cowboys on 4th and 4 at the Oakland 4. The Raiders were able to run out the clock and secure the win.
The Raiders start the 2009 pre-season 1-0 and head to San Francisco to face the 49ers at Candlestick Park next week as the two teams face off in the Battle of the Bay.