The Ravens came away with a 37-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys to begin the preseason 2-0. The Baltimore Sun's reporters, columnists and editors weigh in on the team's win.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens have more overall talent than the Cowboys, but their first team players got out played going head to head except for special teams.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter
Real hard game to evaluate given the crazy nature of the first quarter where the Ravens scored 14 points without yet having their offense on the field. The offense was uneven at best. Joe Flacco looked sharp in the two-minute drill and his touchdown throw to Torrey Smith was a beauty, but he was pretty sluggish overall. How much that had to do with the long delay before he got to take a snap, I'm not sure. The running game looked pretty good again. On defense, way too many missed tackles and missed assignments. That needs to be cleaned up. And the Ravens' lack of cornerback depth is beyond the alarming stage. As for the safeties, the Ravens need Matt Elam and Darian Stewart to be around the ball more.
Aaron Wilson, reporter
Joe Flacco had his moments during a solid first half, including a well-placed spiral in the corner of the end zone to hit Torrey Smith in stride for a touchdown. Bernard Pierce was impressive, displaying power and a burst on a 30-yard run. The Ravens are building an effective running game behind Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking system. With defensive ends Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore out for the season, it was an encouraging development with Pernell McPhee getting a sack and several quarterback pressures.
Jon Meoli, reporter
NFL teams pray to not have preseason games when two marquee players leave the game with an injury within moments of each other, but the Ravens experienced that Saturday with cornerback Jimmy Smith and running back Ray Rice. The offensive starters moving the ball towards the end of their playing time, and the general success the team has had running the ball, will all be cancelled out if those injuries prove to be serious. On the defensive side, missing Smith for any of the regular season would be disastrous. The secondary is the team's biggest weakness even with Smith healthy, so the Ravens have to hope he's back by Week 1.
Childs Walker, reporter
The score was misleading. The starting offense played a spotty first half and the defense struggled against Dallas’ starters. But the Ravens have to be happy with their continued excellence in the running game, which was such a weakness last season.
Monique Jones, Ravens editor
The Ravens have to be concerned with their cornerback situation after the injury to Jimmy Smith. It will be interesting to see if this causes the team to make any moves this week. Deonte Thompson made a case for himself with a 108-yard return for a TD. It might not have been the first team, but it was a strong performance by the Ravens to hold off a late push by the Cowboys in the final minutes.
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