There's something about watching rising players competing for their NFL opportunity that's always enjoyable.
With the preseason coming to a close, there were a lot of great things that came out of these three contests for the Las Vegas Raiders. Despite going down 31-16 in defeat to the Dallas Cowboys, the reps for these young men Saturday night were invaluable.
"We have a lot of information already," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said following the game. "We'll take stock of what happened tonight, some of the things we were interested to see based on who played and how much they played and how much they did.
"There's no shortcut to this. We're going to have a lot of discussion tomorrow, Monday, obviously leading into Tuesday. We'll try to do the best thing. Whatever is the best thing for the Raiders today and going forward, that's what we're going to try to do."
The big headline coming out of Dallas was Tyree Wilson getting his feet wet. The first-round pick has been eased back into practice over the past two weeks following a foot injury suffered at Texas Tech last season. The edge rusher showed glimpses of what's to come in the regular season, casually tossing around a few blockers at the line of scrimmage.
"Got him out there in a game field. He had padded practices this week. I thought he showed up a little bit," McDaniels said of Wilson's debut. "I'll have to see the film just to know exactly how it went, but just another positive step in the right direction."
It was also a great moment for the Henderson, Texas, native who grew up roughly 160 miles east of AT&T Stadium.
"It felt good, I just had to trust the process," Wilson said his first NFL game. "I was eager to get back on the field right away, but I trusted the trainers and trusted the coaches and the personnel department to have the right plan to get back me on the field at the right time. And I feel like coming back to Texas was the right time to get on the field.
"I feel great. Ready to continue to build, keep stacking days," continued Wilson. "Every game is important, but to come back to the state of Texas – it was great."
According to McDaniels, some difficult days are ahead for himself and his staff, as they finalize the initial 53-man roster for the regular season opener in two weeks. The ample amount of talent on the roster could be considered a good problem to have though.
"You've been working with 90 guys for a long time," he said, "and now the time comes where we got to make some decisions. ... We've already done a lot of work on that, we've evaluated our team every step of the way."
View photos from the Raiders' Preseason Week 3 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.