First, my apologies for the lack of contribution as of late. My workload has recently been increased exponentially and, as a result, I barely have enough time to keep up with training camp. Now that I'm all caught up:
Is anyone else catching the hype bug? After the infamous 44-6 drubbing at the hand's of our hated inter divisional foe, the Eagles, while I refused to renounce my fanship, I swore I would never allow myself to buy into the hype again. But one week out from the first preseason game, and once again, I'm a 5 year old fighting to go to sleep so Christmas morning will come faster. I can't help it. The big question is will we Cowboy's fan's at least get a gift wrapped playoff win or will it be another year with coal in our proverbial stocking?
I feel pretty confident, but I think I'll feel a lot better with positive results two games into the preseason. I'm not so much looking for a win as I am looking for certain units to perform well against units that will, at least, present issues on one side of the ball or the other. First the Raiders. This game should present our offense an opportunity to gain some confidence in themselves, as the Raider's defense shouldn't present too many issues against our bevy of weapon's. On the other side of the ball, however, the Raiders offense do present some obvious challenges for our defense; namely Darren McFadden. I won't put him on Adrian Peterson's level quite yet, but I will say for him being the one player standing in the way of Felix being the highly touted RB coming out of Arkansas in 2008, our defense should have their hands full. Then there are the speedster's Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy, the Raiders were able to pick in the 1st and 4th round respectively in this years draft. I don't expect them to be world-beaters at this point in their career's, but I don't think they should be ignored either. Speed is speed, and if all they have to do after beating a guy is catch the ball, I'm pretty confident they can be devastating if allowed to be. And speed is the primary point of emphasis Al Davis has a tendency to draft for, so every player within the offensive ranks are likely the fastest available when the Raider's where on the clock on that given draft day. Did the Cowboy's get faster on defense? We will know for sure late August 9th.
The second game into the preseason the Cowboy's face the Titan's. While there offense is dangerous with Chris Johnson's 4.2 speed (fastest rb from 2008's draft; yes, even faster than Felix), the Titan defense is where this team's identity is born. This is where the Cowboy's offense will truly be tested. When measuring a defense, personally, I don't look at yard's allowed, sack's, interceptions or any other stat that is otherwise meaningless until I look at the amount of points a team allows. In 2008, the Titans ranked 2nd only to the Steeler's with 234. For a little perspective, the Cowboy's ranked 20th, allowing 365. But the Titan's also excelled in the other area's of defense, placing 6th in interceptions with 20, 5th in sacks with 44, 2nd in forced fumbles with 23, and 3rd in defensive touchdown's with 3. In other words, the Titan's are a team that place alot of emphasis on doing everything perfect and it shows. Can the Cowboy's offense move the ball, despite the release of T.O.? We will know for sure late August 21st.