The Oakland Raiders host the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 preseason opener for the Silver and Black. The Cowboys participated in the Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-20 this past Sunday.
Despite the fact the Cowboys have a game up on the Raiders, Head Coach Dennis Allen expects the Silver and Black to come out firing on all cylinders. "We're ready to get 2013 underway, first preseason game, and excited to let our guys out there and play and see what we can do," Coach Allen said.
Coach Allen told the assembled media yesterday that all four quarterbacks would play in the game. That plan will include two rookie signal-callers, Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin.
"I've had a chance to sit behind Matt [Flynn], Terrelle [Pryor] and watch their reps and try to pick up every detail I can and get as much mentally out of it as I possibly can," Wilson said earlier in the week.
McGloin is currently listed #3 on the depth chart ahead of Wilson. The undrafted free agent out of Penn State is excited to see his first action as a pro. "Playing in front of 110,00 fans every Saturday is exciting, I'm very fortunate to have played on a big stage like that," McGloin said. "Coming to the NFL, it's different. Guys move faster, you have to move faster, you have to make reads faster. As a quarterback you have to be able to think very, very quickly."
All four quarterbacks will be trying to execute the game plan while accomplishing the team's preseason and training camp goals. According to Coach Allen, the focus is on execution and competition.
"Still the focus is on us and what we do, but we want to give our guys a plan that gives them a chance to have success," Coach Allen said. "It's still going to be a lot more about what we want to do, but we did give them a plan as far as what to expect out of Dallas."
Several Cowboys starters did not see any action against the Dolphins, including QB Tony Romo and RB DeMarco Murray. According to dallascowboys.com, both players should see some action Friday night.
According to Coach Allen, the Cowboys will provide a tough, physical challenge for the Raiders.
"Well, they're a good football team. Obviously offensively they're a big, physical football team. They ran the ball really well the other day against Miami, so obviously I think that's something they're trying to establish and work on, so we have to be prepared to stop the run," Coach Allen said. "It looks like they'll play a lot more of their [first string] in this game, so it'll be a good evaluation for us, both offensively and defensively to get a little bit of a feel of where we're at."
After two week of training camp at the team's Napa Valley Training Complex, the true competition for roster spots and starting jobs begins Friday night. "It's no different than when you were in college and you had to take exams," Coach Allen said. "There's a lot more weight put on the exam, and this is one of four exams that we get a chance to take, so when the lights come on and you're doing it for real, that's when the players have to show up. There will be more emphasis put on performance in the preseason."
There are several connections between the Raiders and the Cowboys. C Andre Gurode, LB Kevin Burnett, CB Michael Jenkins and T Alex Barron have all spent time with the Cowboys while CB Sterling Moore, S Eric Frampton and DB Brandon Underwood spent time with the Silver and Black. Also, former Dallas assistant coach Tony Sparano is now the Raiders offensive line coach.
Gurode is happy to be reunited with Sparano and he is looking forward to the challenge his former team presents. "It'll be a great game, great opportunity to go out against a good team and show what we've got," Gurode said. "[Sparano] hasn't changed at all, he believes in hard work, he believes in discipline, believes in technique and getting the job done. I feel good in the Silver and Black, it's very slimming."
Friday night's game will be the first opportunity for the Silver and Black to showcase what they've been learning and working on during the off-season and so far during training camp. The players, returning veterans, rookies and the recently acquired alike, are all excited to see the Raider Nation and put on a show.
"I've heard about the Black Hole, I'm excited to be on the opposite side of it, it can be deafening at times, "Gurode said. "We're looking forward to seeing the fans be excited, this is our first preseason game, hopefully we can give them a good show."
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at O.co Coliseum in Oakland. The game will be televised tape-delayed on KICU TV 36 (check your local listings). The game will be broadcast on 95.7 The GAME's sister station 102.1/98.5 KFOX. The pre-game show with John Lund and Bill Romanowski starts at 5:00 p.m. with Greg Papa and Tom Flores calling the action starting at 6:30 p.m. Chris Townsend and Sean O'Connell will co-host a 90-minute postgame show.