Cowboys Raiders NFLx

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Dallas Cowboys take on the Oakland Raiders in NFL Preseason Action

Betting line is Oakland -2 with a Total of 34.5

The time has finally arrived; or at least it kind of has! The NFL preseason is in full swing, and teams are gearing up for the “real” thing that will start next month. Most of the preseason Games will be used by coaches to experiment with certain schemes and players to decide what will work the best. Rookies will get their first NFL action, and the cream of the crop will be riding pine. Talk about a role reversal! Let’s take a look at Thursday’s showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders. 5dimes.com lists the Raiders as a -2 point favorite. The Games betting line opened Cowboys -1 so it looks like the early action is all Oakland.

I’ve got to think that even though this is only the preseason new Raiders coach Tom Cable will be out to prove something with eccentric owner Al Davis watching his every move. Cable was promoted to interim head coach last year after LAne Kiffin was dismissed, and after finishing the year 4-8 he was rewarded with the full time job.

The Raiders have an advantage over the Cowboys in this Game at QB. The starters probably won’t be getting much playing time in. Backups Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye are both capable players who have plenty of time behind center. I don’t expect to see many mistakes from them in this Game. Jeff GArcia should also compete, but he has been hindered by injuries recently. You can also expect to see good things from WR Darrius Hayward-Bey. Justin FarGAs was recently added to the injury report, so I expect to see little to no action from him. That means last year’s first round pick Darren McFadden will be sharing the majority of this Games work with RB Michael Bush.

Dallas has a very experieNCed back up in Jon Kitna. Toby Keith oNCe said “I’m not as good as I oNCe was, but I’m as good oNCe as I ever was”. That’s the kind of mentality Kitna will have going into this season. The old salt can fill in for Romo when needed, but probably isn’t good enough to handle starter duties for more than a few Games. Stephen McGee is likely to get a few snaps or more. The rookie was taken in the Fourth round this year after a successful stint at Texas A&M. Another rookie, Rudy Carpenter, is also likely to see some time behind center tonight. This will be the first time either man has played against an NFL defense, so I expect to see some mistakes.

TerreNCe Newman (CB, Cowboys) is likely to be sitting on the beNCh after hurting himself during practice. The injury isn’t serious, but teams are likely to be cautious during a meaningless preseason Game. Mike Jenkins (CB, Cowboys) is also out with an ankle injury. He annouNCed that he has no intention of playing in this Game. Javon Walker (WR, Raiders) is definitely not playing in this one. Reports say he is at least two weeks away from being able to adequately compete. Nnamdi Asomugha (CB, Raiders) will not be playing due to an injury to his hip flexor. Jay Richardson (DE, Raiders) is returning from surgery and has seen limited play during practice.

Based on the Quarterback rotation and the fact that new Raiders coach Tom Cable will want to start off on the right foot, we’re going to back the Raiders in this one. Remember, you can get a free half point on all your football wagers at Skybook.com. That will bring the line on this one down to -1.5 for us.