Silver-and-Blue clashes with Silver-and-Black when the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders hook up for the exhibition season opener for both teams Monday night in Oakland (8 pm Eastern, ESPN).
Dallas, coming off a disappointing 8-8 campaign, is looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. The Cowboys were 7-4 at one point last year but lost four of their last five games.
Oakland also got to 7-4 last year and lost four of its last five to finish 8-8. The Raiders then changed head coaches again, canning Coach Jackson and bringing in defensive-mined Dennis Allen from division-rival Denver.
After Tony Romo, the Dallas QB rotation includes veteran off-season pick-up Kyle Orton and second-year pro Stephen McGee. Arizona State rookie Rudy Carpenter might also see some playing time Monday night.
After Carson Palmer, Oakland's QB rotation goes Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor. And Pryor is expected to see a good amount of action Monday night.
In trying to decipher how these teams will approach this game it looks like Dallas is settled almost everywhere, and is likely to use the pre-season to simply tune up for the regular season. The Cowboys should be contenders in the NFC East, and they know that.
Last year, in their first pre-season under Coach Garrett, the Cowboys went 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS.
Oakland, meanwhile, is working under a new head coach who might want to try to instill a winning environment right from the start.
On the NFL odds board for Monday most online sportsbooks are listing Oakland as a one-point favorite, with an 'over/under' of 35. The Raiders started off at -1.5 at many football betting shops, so action on Dallas has pushed that number down. And the total began at 34, so play on the 'over' has bumped it a point.
So far in Week 1 exhibition action favorites on the betting lines are 8-7 straight-up, while the totals have gone 7-7-1.
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