There's a simple rule for anyone who wants to be a quarterback for the Los Angeles Raiders: Throw the ball long.
The Raiders' top three quarterbacks showed that Sunday night in a game of anything-you-can-throw, I-can-throw-longer that resulted in a 27-19 preseason victory over the Dallas Cowboys.Starter Jeff Hostetler threw a 34-yard touchdown pass, backup Vince Evans hit on a 54-yarder and third-stringer Billy Joe Hobert completed a 77-yarder as Los Angeles flaunted its flock of speedy receivers.
"When you don't practice against speed like that, you have a tendency not to know what real speed is," said Cowboys safety James Washington, who watched running back Harvey Williams blow by him on a 39-yard non-score.
The Raiders aired it out on their first play when Hostetler overthrew Tim Brown on a 50-yarder straight down the middle of the field.
Showing a bit of restraint, Los Angeles waited four more plays before Hostetler hit Tyrone Montgomery down the left side for the Raiders' first score.
Although the trio completed only 10 of 22 passes, three went for touchdowns. Of their 266 yards passing, 165 came on the three scores.
All the incomplete passes, 24 penalties and two sluggish efforts by second teams made for a long night. Neither team ran the ball well, and both defenses seemed ahead of the offenses.
"We're moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go," Raiders coach Art Shell said. "We grew some. Then we took a few steps back in the second half."
The Cowboys could barely get anything generated once quarterback Troy Aikman was benched after one series.
But what a series it was.
Aikman continued his dazzling preseason, completing 3 of 4 passes and leading Dallas on a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive that took 5:38. He has completed 9 of 10 passes in two exhibition games.
He capped the drive with a 6-yard scoring run that nearly took the breath out of the Cowboys when Los Angeles linebacker Aaron Wallace and two teammates slammed into him along the goal line.
"I looked and everyone was covered, so I took off," Aikman said. "I know people are going to say it's preseason and I shouldn't risk injury. But if I'm in a position of risk, I shouldn't be out there."
Backup Rodney Peete never got into the flow of the game and Los Angeles' Vince Evans had a rocky start as he was sacked for a safety on his second drive.
But with less than two minutes left in the half, Evans unloaded his 54-yard hurl to Raghib "Rocket" Ismail.
Ismail was falling as he got to the ball, went crashing down when he caught it at the 2, then had to roll and crawl into the end zone to put the Raiders ahead 17-9.
After a dud of a third quarter, Chris Boniol made a 25-yard field goal for Dallas before Hobert hit Charles Jordan on yet another bomb to put the game away.
Saturday's late game
Vikings 17, Chiefs 9
Terry Allen ran 3 yards to cap Minnesota's first drive and Amp Lee ran 11 yards for another score. After Joe Montana missed on all four of his passes, Matt Blundin hit Lake Dawson with a 40-yard scoring pass for Kansas City.