Preview: Cowboys @ Raiders

Having gone to college just two and a half hours from Texas stadium and not much further from the ridiculously awesome Cowboys stadium, I’ve come to understand Cowboys fans and Cowboys culture.

Most people know life revolves around football in Texas, but until you experience it, I am not quite sure you understand it. There aren’t as many distractions in Texas and things are more spread out, so people have to go further to engage in the distractions that are available. This all makes for a culture which feels smaller. Ironic because of the size Complex Texas has.

I made a habit of telling them, they aren’t the biggest anything! I will say this, if you drive from one side of Texas to the other, you will swear the state spans half the globe.

Despite all this, I’ve come to realize the caliber of Texas’ best high school and college football teams compare very closely with the best teams in Florida and California. There is however a difference among tiers of teams below the cream of the crop. This is mostly due to everyone playing football. Baseball players also play football. There isn’t near the volume of Soccer teams as you see in California and elsewhere and other sports seem almost second class.

So what does this have to do with Cowboys @ Raiders tonight? Not a lot of on-the-field implications. Just takes it easy on the Cowboys fans. The Cowboys are all they have.

What to watch:

Jason Witten vs. Raiders LB/S – He is a tough cover for anybody, especially most LB and few safeties are physical enough.

DHB – Cable says he may play an entire half. Can he be the playmaker we all hope he can be?

Run Defense – Will the first team be able to hold up?

Running Back Rotation – Cable said he will try to rotate all three like he is planning to during the regular season. What will that look like? Will it be effective?

Russell – Are the camp reports indicative of game production? When are we going to be able to jump on Russell’s back? He needs to start carrying the team. When the QB, RB, and Defense all are capable of carrying a team, you win a lot of games. Pittsburgh is a good example. At any point those three areas can carry the team. When Big Ben was off two seasons ago, they were much more beatable.

Frye v Gradkowski – To the victor goes an inactive game day roster spot.

What young players will shine? I’ll put my money on Louis Murphy on offense and Slade Norris on defense.

Greg Ellis – He wants revenge, but will he save it for the Thanksgiving day game in Dallas? I am still stoked about that game. I can’t ever remember a Thanksgiving I was more looking forward too.

Jerry Jones in the same suite as Al Davis: Jones is probably the closest owner to Al Davis. Jones needs to tell Davis how great his new stadium is and by default how terrible the coliseum is by comparison. It’s preseason, so I can see this happening.

I’ll be tweeting live tonight, so if you plan to watch on tape delay, stay away. <a href="http://twitter.com/Raidersblog">@Raidersblog</a>

Dave from the Raider Cast was kind enough to call the comment line. I’ll be posting his comments as a podcast just before the game around 6 pm due to work constraints. Be sure to check it out.

More to come in the form of a blog post, podcast and tweet recap!

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