Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys Free Pick- 8/9/13

Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys Free Pick- 8/9/13
2013-08-09 09:00:00 EDT

The Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys face off on Friday for a NFL Football preseason matchup.

The Oakland Raiders take to the field for the first time this season and they are hoping this is the year they turn around their recent misfortunes. QB has been a tough spot for the Raiders in recent years and they are hoping they have an answer this year in Matt Flynn, who was a prize free agent a year ago and a cast off this off season, but if Flynn isn’t the answer they have Tyler Wilson out of Arkansas who looks promising, Terrelle Pryor who has had his chances, and Matt McGloin who did something with next to nothing at Penn State. Darren McFadden has been the key to the Raiders offense in recent years and he figures to be again this season but backing him up they have Rashard Jennings,, Latavius Murray, and Jeremy Stewart. Denarius Moore and Rod Streater figure to be the starting wide receivers and look for Juron Criner, Jacoby Ford, Brice Butler as well as Josh Cribbs to all get a look and playing time. Richard Gordon is the tight end and David Ausberry and Nick Kasa are the backups.

Defensively, the Raiders have a different look with Lamar Houston and Jason Hunter on the ends and Pat Sims and Vance Walker in the middle with several backups like Andre Carter, Johnny Jones, David Bass, and others competing. Nick Roach and Kaluka Maiava are the OLB’s and Kevin Burnett is in the middle and Miles Burris, Travis Goethel, and Kaelin Burnett are backups but overall this unit looks to be on the thin side. Charles Woodson is back but at safety next to Tyvon Branch with D.J. Hayden and the much maligned Mike Jenkins at the corners with serveral capable backups like Tracy Porter, Usama Young, Chimdi Chekwa and as many as four deep at some positions.

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The Dallas Cowboys have already played a preseason game, but they treated it like a fifth preseason game as opposed to more opportunity to get the players some work as they sat several key players. Tony Romo didn’t play against Miam,i but he should see action here as Alex Haney saw the most action followed by Nick Stephens and Kyle Orton. DeMarco Murray didn’t play against Miami, but the Cowboys running game was impressive with Joseph Randle rushing for 70 yards, Lance Dunbar averaging 5.5 yards per carry, Phillip Tanner averaging 5.9 yards per carry, and Kendial Lawrence scoring a walk in touchdown. The Cowboys only completed 11 passes with the starters all sitting so Tim Benford had three catches and Jared Green, Anthony Armstrong, and Dante Rosario were among those catching passes.

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Defensively with DeMarcus Ware sitting, George Selvie had a big game with four tackles and two sacks. Taylor Reed led the way with nine tackles and a sack, J.J. Wilcox had seven tackles, and Brandon Magee had six tackles.  The Cowboys defense allowed 24 first downs, 29 completions against, 310 passing yards against, and 11 rushing yards so the Cowboys defense has work to do.

Dallas looked much better than I expected offensively in their first game, but the defense struggled and that shouldn’t matter as much here as I don’t see the Raiders having anything set in stone. We should see a lot of different combinations of players on the field for the Raiders, while they Cowboys players have a better idea as to where they stand in the competition and that should give them whatever edge they could have in a game with no significance.

Mitch Wilson's Free Pick:
Dallas Cowboys +2.5
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Mitch Wilson

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