Preseason football begins for both the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders when these two high-profile franchises meet in the Oakland Coliseum on Monday night. Jerry Jones, as always, demands instant results, but might they come from Carson Palmer instead?
NFL betting odds have this game as a PK and the total is 35. Who will get out of the gate fast to start the season? Will it be a veteran Cowboys team whose owner Jerry Jones has demanded instant results, or will it be an improving Oakland Raiders team looking to win in honor of the memory of Al Davis?
The odds are accurate. On paper this should be a close game but, let's remember, this is just the preseason, therefore bet accordingly.
Get it done!
Just to reiterate what I stated earlier, the Dallas Cowboys will be a highly scrutinized football team, with owner Jerry Jones having lost his patience with a team that hasn't lived up to it's potential. The New York Giants have been stealing the spotlight and you just know that this has angered Jones greatly.
No tolerance, no excuses
We don't know what's going to happen to Dallas star receiver Dez Bryant, but this is a guy who has the ability to be the best player in the league. Jerry Rice has already stated that Bryant is the best receiver in the league among players 25 or younger; it's high time Bryant started to show maturity.
Quarterback Tony Romo endorsed Bryant in mini-camp, saying that he looked spectacular and that he expected big things from Dez.
Expect Dez Bryant to get immediate opportunities since Jerry Jones wants Bryant to be held accountable and put to the test. Of course, Jones isn't the playcaller, but he's not at all happy about Bryant's recent arrest for physically abusing his mother.
Where the quarterback position is concerned, expect to see a lot of Tony Romo early and then Kyle Orton as the game progresses. The Cowboys are very strong at backup, considering Orton could start for plenty of NFL teams. It's preseason, but look for Tony Romo to start off strong until Orton takes over.
Tony Romo has always put up big numbers. Some would say that his numbers are far superior to those of Eli Manning, but Romo has been injured the past few seasons and hasn't been a clutch. Look for that to change this season as it's a now or never for Romo.
Feeling the heat
Stars like tight end Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware are feeling a sense of urgency since both are getting slightly long in the tooth. In my opinion, Ware is the best defensive player in the NFL, and Witten was once the best tight end in the league. Look for him and Ware to go full throttle even in a preseason game. These two players don't know any other way.
The prospect of having DeMarcus Ware in his face could cause Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer some distress. The last thing ta quarterback wants is to get injured in a preseason game. For his part, Palmer has to prove he can lead the Oakland Raiders to the promised land.
Cornerback Mike Jenkins was placed on the PUP list; he wasn't a happy camper to begin with with Dallas taking Morris Claiborne in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Jenkins immediately demanded a trade but it wasn't granted. Don't expect to see Jenkins suiting up against the Raiders as his surgically repaired right shoulder needs more time to heal.
Claiborne, who is thought to be the next Deion Sanders according to Jerry Jones has his own injury problems. Claiborne had a recent MCL injury which wasn't serious but was already behind in getting acclimated with the defense as he had a wrist injury that held him out for most of the offseason. Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and secondary coach Jerome Henderson had been somewhat forcefeeding the defense to Claiborne as he's been working with the 1st team until this injury. It doesn't seem like we're going to see Claiborne forced into a role against the Raiders and this will make the Dallas secondary lite, leaving opportunity for Carson Palmer. The Cowboys will need immedaite results from former free agent Brandon Carr.
100 percent healthy
This is great news for the Oakland Raiders, as running back Darren McFadden can assist Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raider offensive attack. Oakland is a little thin at receiver with Darius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore. Most of the load will be put on the shoulders of McFadden, who played in just 7 games last season but averaged 5.4 yards a carry. This is one of the best backs in the league; expect him to see some time in this football game. This could have a bearing on the outcome of the game.
The Raiders will also have a respectable backup QB in Matt Leinart. Leinart has never lived up to his potential but is definitely capable of orchestrating a drive down the field if need be. Expect to see some Leinart along with Palmer against Dallas.
Betting on preseason
Thiss is pretty much a crapshoot because nothing is etched in stone. Coaches might want to give a player that's not the best at his position more time out on the field and give the more established players limited time due to risk of injury. You're not seeing the best that each team has to offer, therefore you need to bet cautiously.
With both teams putting their best out their, Dallas has the edge at the key positions and that's why this game is PK and Dallas is on the road.
Phillip Tanner RB- Questionable (hand)
Mike Jenkins- DB- Questrionable (shoulder)
Nothing of concern
Outcome of the game
As stated earlier, Jerry Jones and some of the vets have are in "win now" mode, and that's the way that the Cowboys will approach this preseason game. They're the superior team and look for them to capitalize against an Oakland Raiders squad that's in the process of rebuilding.
Pick: Dallas PK