The Dallas Cowboys will look to improve to 2-0 on the 2013 preseason when they visit the Oakland Raiders on Friday night. While Dallas opened up the exhibition season with the Hall of Fame Game, it will be the first time that the Raiders take the field this year.
The Cowboys may have played on Sunday, but most of their best players sat out. Tony Romo, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant all sat out. Against the Raiders, Dallas should have their starters back and ready to go.
Romo signed a lucrative contract extension this offseason and doesn’t have to worry about his job security. The same can’t be said for the current No.1 quarterback on the Raiders depth chart. Matt Flynn appears to have a major edge on the starting job, but he may still need to prove himself in the preseason. After signing a deal with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, the career backup has been a disappointment, and was traded to the Raiders after one season.
If Flynn falters, Pryor has a chance to become the top quarterback. His athleticism has prompted Oakland to consider him for the starting job, and he should get a significant amount of playing time on Friday. Pryor has very little NFL experience, attempting just 30 passes last season.
Both teams will use the contest to evaluate their depth at wide receiver. The Cowboys are set with Miles Austin and Bryant as their top two receivers, but have a lot of question beyond those two. Rookie Terrance Williams may have the best chance to be the No.3 wide receiver, but he was forced to sit out against the Dolphins with a head injury. However, he says he doesn’t have a concussion and should be good to go. The Raiders bring back players like Rod Streater, Denarius Moore, but neither has proven to be a consistent top receiver. Jacoby Ford has battled leg issues the past two years and is looking to prove that he can be productive and stay on the field.
The first-round draft pick of each team will be asked to play a big role in 2013. No. 12 overall selection D.J Hayden was taken to bolster a weak Oakland secondary. Travis Frederick is likely to start for Dallas at either center or guard.
Of the final 10 preseason games this week, the Cowboys are one of just two road teams that are favored. The Cowboys giving are Raiders two points on Friday night.
NFL Network will have the game, starting at 10 p.m. ET. Viewers who have purchased NFL Preseason Live can watch a live stream of the 2013 exhibition games.
Prediction: Dallas 21, Oakland 14