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We’re officially halfway through the 2017 preseason.

On September 10, the Oakland Raiders officially kick off the 2017 campaign at Nissan Stadium, as the Silver and Black throw down against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans.

However, let’s not look too far down the road, and instead focus on the team’s next opponent – the Dallas Cowboys.

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The Silver and Black were back on the road tonight, falling to the Dallas Cowboys 24-20 at AT&T Stadium.

In the wake of tonight’s loss, here are four things that stood out from the game.

1. Donald Penn got back to work

After missing the entirety of Training Camp 2017, Donald Penn returned to the team’s Alameda, Calif., facility this Wednesday, and was reinstated to the team’s active roster shortly after his arrival.

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The connection between Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper is electric, and lightning struck Saturday night when No. 4 dropped a dime to “Coop” down the sideline at AT&T Stadium.

In the second game of the preseason, Cooper flashed his footwork and lost a Los Angeles Rams defender right before he went up in triple coverage and high-pointed a pass from “DC,” leaving people in awe. Similar to that play, the former University of Alabama wide out lost his defender once again against the Dallas Cowboys, and Carr lost the television broadcast crew, as he pump faked to his right – throwing off the cameraman – before striking a streaking Cooper wide open for six.

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In the end, Donald Penn returned to the Oakland Raiders for his teammates.

Simply put, he missed them, and they in turn missed him just as much.

“I came back for my teammates, for my teammates and my coaches,” said Penn following the Raiders 24-20 loss to the Cowboys Saturday night. “We got a good thing going. I knew Week 3, I needed to get myself ready for Week 1. That was in my head. At the end of the day, I have to make sure I’m going to be the best Donald Penn on Sundays for my teammates. That’s why I made the decision to come back, because I had to make sure I could be the best “DP” when it comes to Tennessee.”

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn ended his 26-day holdout and reported to the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday. And while it was immediately unclear whether Penn had received a new contract, he took the practice field to cheers and handshakes from his teammates.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he did say at the start of training camp that Penn already had a contract and he would not negotiate with a player who was not with the team.

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Derek Carr‘s hand on Khalil Mack‘s shoulder during the national anthem Saturday night was meant as a symbol of unity.

Shalom Luani was merely praying while taking a knee before rising and Marshawn Lynch still won’t say why he sat during the Star Spangled Banner for the second consecutive week, but Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing explained why he had a hand on fullback Jamize Olawale‘s shoulder.

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Donald Penn took the practice field for the Oakland Raiders on Thursday for the second day in a row but was not made available to the media.

Penn, per the NFL Network, ended his 26-day holdout incurring more than $1 million in fines but without a new contract and reported to the team facility in hopes of getting a deal done. Still, Penn “may get a few reps” in Saturday’s exhibition at the Dallas Cowboys.

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Gareon Conley, the Oakland Raiders’ first-round draft pick out of Ohio State, missed all of training camp in Napa. The cornerback did throw on a helmet and take some balls out of a Jugs machine in Wine Country, but he has not practiced since the first day of minicamp, more than two months ago on June 13.

Conley does, though, seem to be making progress from the lower leg injury that has ailed him, as he has been seen working with a trainer on the field this week at the team facility.

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Cordarrelle Patterson has yet to return a kickoff for the Oakland Raiders through two preseason games. That should change Saturday night at the Dallas Cowboys.

Especially with teams treating the third exhibition as a dress rehearsal for the regular season and Patterson being, well, an All-Pro kick returner with five returns for touchdowns in four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

In fact, one of those came against the Raiders in 2015, a 93-yarder at the Oakland Coliseum. And feelings are still bruised, he joked.

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Awkward much?

For the second straight year, the Oakland Raiders will be facing a team in that all-important third preseason game — the one teams use as a dress rehearsal for the regular season — that they will also see when games count.

Last year, it was the Tennessee Titans.

Tonight, it’s the Dallas Cowboys.

“Yeah, it’s like, ‘Can we get someone else so we can run some stuff?’” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said with a smile. “You go into a game against Dallas, they’re going to be basic, we’re going to be basic, because you play each other in the regular season. Everyone knows that. It’s not secret. I’m not giving anything away. That’s just how it is.

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