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Cowboys To Host Raiders

The Cowboys will open up their home preseason schedule tonight against the Oakland Raiders. While there are not as many story lines in this game as on Sunday, there are some things to keep an eye out for. It is widely known that the Cowboys are heading into this game as a hurting unit. As many as 14 players will be out of the lineup for the Cowboys. This would usually be the Cowboys first game of the preseason but with the “Hall of Fame” game that was played on Sunday, the Cowboys get an extra look at their young players.

The Cowboys have a couple of areas of concern after their first game. One is the tight end position. The Cowboys are down to only two healthy tight ends, Jason Witten, and the recently picked up DajLeon Farr. Witten is expected to only play a few series. Farr, who has been with the club for 2 days, is picking up the playbook as quickly as possible and is expected to play quite a bit during the game.

Phillips was quite quiet about the details of who would play when he talked to the media yesterday. “It really is the first preseason game, if you had a four-game preseason,” Phillips said. “I was going to play the starters a little bit more except that I want to see more from the young guys. Quite a few of them did some good things. I want to give them an opportunity to be consistent. We will play our starters more than we did, but it won’t be a full half or anything.”

One thing Phillips and the Cowboys would like to see in this game is a better job in the redzone. The Cowboys were 0-3 in the redzone against the Bengals and would like to improve that area. While the teams do not really game plan for each other this early in the preseason, the Boys would like to run the ball. The lack of depth in the tight end position will prevent them from powering over Oakland, but they will try to spread the Raiders out and run the ball through 3 wide receiver sets.

There will not be a lot of answers in this game either, so fans hoping to see the Cowboys dominate the Raiders should not hold their breath. This game will see a lot of the younger guys getting long looks in the game.

Things To Watch For:

1) WR Manuel Johnson – The Cowboys have liked what they have seen from the 2nd year player and would like that to translate to games. He had a quiet night against the Bengals.

2) S Danny McCray – McCray had a great game on Sunday. He made a bunch of plays in the secondary, including a pick, and was a standout on special teams as well. The Cowboys will look for some consistency from McCray tonight.

3) Linebackers – The Cowboys linebacking core had an amazing game against the Bengals. They showed their speed and athleticism while making plays all over the field. The question is can they do it again?

4) CB Jamar Wall – Wall got lit up against the Bengals. He was making a lot of tackles, which for a corner means that you are not covering very well. He was beat on a lot of routes by the Bengals receivers. Look for him to tighten up his coverage tonight. He will also get some more work returning punts.

5) DE Stephen Bowen – Bowen was very impressive on Sunday. Can he continue to keep the pressure on the opposing teams quarterbacks? That is the question Wade & Co. are hoping to find out tonight.

Enjoy the game everyone!

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