Tonight’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens has a little more excitement to it than just any other week two preseason game. And the big reason for that is the return of Tony Romo.
Romo will be making his first appearance in a live game situation since week 16 of last season, when he lead the Cowboys to a come-from-behind victory while playing with a herniated disc. Also making their 2014 preseason debuts are Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Jason Witten and Lance Dunbar. I look for these guys to play two, maybe three series; depends on how the first series goes.
On the defensive side of the ball, we finally get to see Rolando McClain in action.
This will be his first action since 2012 when he was with the Oakland Raiders. Like some of the offensive starters, don’t look to see McClain out there a whole lot tonight. He’s been brought along slowly since he arrived and I expect things to be no different tonight.
A player who isn’t playing – but needs to be – is Mo Claiborne. Claiborne hurt his shoulder earlier in the week at camp in Oxnard, CA. Although the injury isn’t reported to be serious, the team is keeping him out for precautionary reasons.
The defensive line will hope for a better showing than week one, but if the Ravens run the ball like they did last week against the 49ers, you can expect more of of the same from last week’s game against the Chargers. The Ravens put up 237 rushing yards, with most of that coming at the backs of the second and third string offensive linemen.
Expect the Ravens to mix their running game up with Ray Rice and Justin Forsett. Like the Cowboys, I don’t expect to see a whole lot of passing plays from the Ravens’ first string offense. I see the Ravens trying to drive the ball down the Cowboys’ throats during the first couple of series to control the line of scrimmage early.
On defense for the Ravens, look for them to move Terrell Suggs around, however, I suggest they keep him on Doug Free’s side if he doesn’t want to be stone-walled over and over by Tyron Smith.
Overall, I expect a better showing from the first string Cowboys defense, and I expect the ‘Boys offensive line to have a tougher task against the Ravens front seven. But I do expect them to be able to move the ball.
And as always folks, remember this is a PRESEASON GAME.
The Ws and Ls mean nothing. It’s about getting some work in for your starters and evaluating your young talent. So do yourself a favor… sit back, relax, and enjoy the game. And be happy football season is back!