Oakland Raiders 0-2 (0-2 ATS) at Dallas Cowboys 2-1 (1-1-1 ATS)
When and Where: Saturday, August 26, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas 8:00pm EDT
Spread: Dallas -3; Total: 44.5
Two teams that failed to meet expectations a year ago clash in Week 3 of the NFL preseason on Saturday night. The Cowboys finished 13-3, but were upset at home by Green Bay in their first playoff game. Likewise, the Raiders, at 12-4, fell in their first playoff game as well, albeit on the road to the Texans. Oakland’s problem was the loss of franchise quarterback Derek Carr to a broken leg, while Dallas might have fell victim to a bit of overconfidence. Despite the team’s storied pasts, they have only met 11 times in the regular season, with the Raiders leading the all-time series 6-5.
Raiders Ready for some Football
After sitting Carr and Marshawn Lynch in Week 1 of the preseason, but players made their debuts for the Silver and Black Saturday night. For Carr, it was his first action since fracturing his leg last year vs. Indianapolis. For Lynch, it was first time carrying a football in a live game since the 2015 season with the Seahawks. Lynch touched the ball twice and ended his short night with 10 yards on the ground. Carr looked like the same stud as he did last year when he was being discussed as a possible MVP candidate, finishing 7-9 for 100 yards, and two touchdowns, although he also threw an interception.
The team would ultimately fall 24-21 when their backups squandered a late lead, but this week we should see the starters remain on the field for more of an extended period of time. Carr’s touchdowns were to tight end Lee Smith (19-yards) and a 13 yard strike to Michael Crabtree. Amari Cooper, however, was the leading receiver on the team, pulling in three balls for 46 yards with a long of 31. Jalen Richard finished with three rushes for 18 yards.
Cowboys Carrying a Grudge
When Tony Romo went down last season, not much was expected of Dallas, particularly considering the team was going to be starting a rookie at quarterback. All that rookie did was win 13 of his 14 starts. Unfortunately for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, they dropped their last three games of the season, including a home playoff game to the Green Bay Packers. It was still an amazing season for Prescott, throwing for 23 touchdowns against just four interceptions. Another rookie, Ezekiel Elliot, made quite the impact himself, running for 1,631 yards and 15 scores.
In last week’s 24-19 home win over the Colts, Prescott saw his first action of the preseason and had a perfect 158.3 passer rating after completing seven of his eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Cooper Rush came on in relief of Prescott and had back-to-back touchdown drives, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to receiver Noah Brown. Former Raider running back Darren McFadden started in place of Elliot and led all rushers with 59 yards on nine carries.
- 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games on fieldturf
- 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games on fieldturf
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall
As the season was nearing its end last year, there were plenty of pundits who looked at a game between these two as a potential Super Bowl matchup. Of course, things did not turn out this way, and this time around the game will not even count in the standings, but that does not that these two proud franchises will not be out there trying to push the other one around. With the way Carr looked in his return last week, it is hard to pick against the Raider Nation in this one, even on the road. Take the points here, and Oakland.
Pick: Raiders +3
While the rookies on the Cowboys stole the show a season again, the Dallas defense was solid last year. Will they be solid enough to stop the prolific offense of the Raiders? My guess is no at this point. Given that the Oakland defense is nothing special, expect them ‘Boyz to put up their fair share of points as well.