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Weekly Roundup: Cowboys vs Raiders

Bryson Treece

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The Dallas Cowboys are soon headed to start their preseason against the Raiders, and to get us ready for the first game of 2009, we've put together a quick Q&A with Silver and Black Forever. It's what we like to call our Weekly Roundup!

Silver and Black Forever also sent some questions to us about the Cowboys - you can view our answers to their questions by going to Dallas vs. Oakland.


1. Do you have a preseason prediction on how the Raiders season will end up?

My general sense is that the Raiders will improve upon last seasons' 5 win total and field a much more competitive team overall than in 2008. Although the Raiders have a very difficult schedule facing off against such playoff caliber teams like the Chargers, Steelers, Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants, I predict the Raiders will end the season at 8-8, 2nd place in the AFC West, and out of the playoffs.

I am hopeful that the Raiders win more than 8 games this year but the core players on offense are still in the developmental stage of their careers and Head Coach Cable is still trying to gain traction. The difference between a small incremental gain in victories and a big leap will be the improvement of JaMarcus Russell, the run defense, and passing attack.


2. Is it true that Al Davis sleeps in a casket?

Very funny Cowboy Nation! No, it is categorically false although Davis is known for being a late night person or nocturnal owl.


3. What happened to Darren McFadden? Is he just struggling with the NFL game, or did we really get the best running back from Arkansas last year?

Unfortunately Darren McFadden suffered a severe turf toe injury in the 2nd game of last season vs. KC and was never completely 100% healthy or able to get into a rhythm for the vast majority of the season. My projections for McFadden this year are 1,800 yards total from scrimmage (run + reception yardage) and 10 TDs. And no, you didn't get the best RB from Arkansas last year. McFadden is on the cusp of super stardom.


4. Darrius Heyward-Bey? Really??? What the heck happened there?


The Raiders drafted the best available WR that fit their system. As you probably know, the Raiders put a premium on speed and the ability to stretch the field with the vertical offense. DHB was the fastest player at the combine and came from a pro style offense at Maryland. WRs that came from a spread offense like (Crabtree or Maclin or Harvin) were not looked upon as a good fit for the Raiders offense. My personal preference for our #7 pick would have been LT Monroe or DT Raji.


5. Do Raiders fans have something to look forward too this year, or is this season going to be a struggle?

I'm quite certain that this season will have it's peaks and valleys. The Raider fans have a lot to look forward to in 2009. There is a sense in Raider Nation that Tom Cable is the right guy, at the right time to work in harmony with Al Davis. Stability at Head Coach and a core of very exciting, talented young players such as Russell, McFadden, Bush, Schillens beings hope. In addition, the way that the Raiders concluded their 2008 campaign on a positive note with wins vs. Houston and Tampa Bay showed the promise of a better future.


We want to extend our thanks to Silver and Black Forever for participating in this week's edition of Weekly Roundup, and wish them luck as they face off against a much better team!


[poll id="9"]


Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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5 Comments
  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Okay, I know this is a Cowboys site and all, but I still figured we’d get some votes against the Cowboys to win. Need some Raider fans to chip in. I suppose the sad prospect is that some of those Cowboys votes so far could include Raider fan votes =P

    • Perk

      I almost voted for the Raiders, just because it’s a preseason game that doesn’t mean jack. But I figured with it being a toss up in that sense, might as well vote for my Boys.

  • PantyRaider

    What up with the “CopyCat” thing….1st y’all come off with your name in “Black” on all those coats and now y’all post that “CowGirlNation” Crap…That sounds as dumb as that “SadFranchise Empire” out in “GayBay”….That’ed be across the bay from “ViolentBay” where the Raidahs play…

    I spent a lot of time down Texas way and was referred to as a “GadDamn Yankee” because Todds made me Foreman…Guess y’all know the deal there….A SeattleBoy as foreman in Texas…”BullShit”….But I had alot of that too because when the metal trades went completely south I turned to driving a truck hauling cattle all over the “LoneStar State” and spreading shit everywhere…I admittedly even spread some bad “Do-Do” about the “CowGirls” moving north and being renamed as the “Arkansas PlowBoys” which resulted in a great deal of “HateMail”…

    So I reconded it’s all kool now if it returns…It’s always easy to kick a dog when he’s down….Just ask my boy Vick….

    Friday morning will be a good-ol time for me though as we smash some heads with each other in preparation for the real deal come “Thanks fer the “V” day” in November…Oh!…Claification….I’m now about 10,000 mile outside US AirSpace trashin around Cambodia/Thailand so it 14 hrs ahead of y’all….Have to buy it on the web at nfl.com to watch….$69/mo….

    So will talk again after the game and break-it-down with ya what needs improvement for both of us remembering this don’t amount to squat…It’s just preparations…

    PantyRaider…Have A Cold One On Me!!!/_

  • PantyRaider

    I’m back…

    In all fairness you had “Score-Board” for the 1st quarter which in the pre-season matters the most but that’s about it….You were able to run the ball for 127yds but gave up 170 on only 26 caries…Your weakness was in the passing game…Your depth behind Romo is sick…Would you be interested in Garcia…I think he is expendable as we have two good young back-ups and the old guy should be “Odd-Man-Out”…”TradeBate”…

    Not to say we have it all together….Our Run “D” is very suspect on a night when the “O” put up good #’s but the “D” still gave up too much yardage to a team trying to play “Catch-Up”….But our passing game is greatly improved from what it was and the run is already great….

    As for the meeting in November don’t expect to see the same “Off-Balanced” “O” as you saw tonight….We passed twice what we ran and I think the regular season will show the opposite….We just came in and work on our weaknesses instead of showcasing our strengths…It’s the preseason so that can be expected….

    Look forward to the “TurkeyDay” with ya but my take is “You Lose”..

    PantyRaider…Still Improving!!!/_

Dallas Cowboys

5 Points: Analyzing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule

Sean Martin

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5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule 1
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Every year around this time, sports fans everywhere are reminded of just how dominant the National Football League is. The NFL schedule release is literally just the sharing of a calendar that has little meaning until after next week's NFL Draft, but still dominates headlines both before and after the event.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to return to the playoffs in 2018, we now know the path they will take -- beginning on September 9th in Carolina against the Panthers.

Here are five of my initial thoughts on this team's schedule.

1. "Early" Bye Week Still Later Than Recent Seasons

The Cowboys' bye week falls in week eight this season, which is certainly nothing new. This team is used to having their bye earlier in the season, but week eight is actually the latest it's been over the last three seasons.

In Dak Prescott's rookie season, the Cowboys rolled to six straight wins following their bye week - all part of a longer 11 game win streak. In 2017, the Cowboys played their final three games with Ezekiel Elliott after the bye, improving to 5-3 and inspiring hope for a salvageable season before further injuries piled up.

This season, the Cowboys will come out of their bye week to host Monday Night Football at AT&T Stadium against the Tennessee Titans.

5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule

2. AFC South to Play A Huge Factor

Speaking of the Titans, it is the NFC East's year to face off against the AFC South. This has been an unpredictable division as of late, with the Jacksonville Jaguars emerging as early favorites following their improbable run to the AFC Championship Game.

Unlike the NFC East, the AFC South has been decided by who maintains stability at quarterback. The Colts are hoping to contend with Andrew Luck back on the field in 2018, as are the Texans with second-year QB Deshaun Watson.

The Titans overhauled their coaching staff in hopes of progressing QB Marcus Mariota further to make a run at the playoffs once again.

For the Cowboys, their meetings with the AFC South will carry extra weight - as all but one of them precedes a divisional game in some sense. Following back to back games at the Texans and home against the Jaguars, the Cowboys will visit the Redskins in week seven.

The first shot Dallas will get at the defending Super Bowl champions will be November 11th in Philadelphia, two weeks removed from their bye after facing the Titans.

Coming out of two games in 12 days through weeks 12 (Thanksgiving) and 13, the Cowboys will have little chance to come up for air against the Eagles in week 14. Their chance to regroup may come the following week, with a favorable December road game in Indianapolis against the Colts.

3. Revenge Against the Falcons

The Cowboys' week 10 game a year ago in Atlanta is truly where the 2017 season was lost. Playing without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys looked lost on offense thanks to the added absence of All-Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith.

The Cowboys' fight to carry on at 5-4 was buried into the Falcons' new turf, as was Dak Prescott that afternoon, sacked eight times.

Only a week removed on the calendar from meeting the Falcons on the same date, the Cowboys will again play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in week 11 this season. The chance for revenge against the Falcons will also mark the only pair of consecutive road games this 2018 Dallas Cowboys team will play.

Cowboys en Español: 3

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

4. Running Through December

The national media may not want you to know that the Cowboys are a combined 6-2 in December over the last two seasons, as this team's fabled late season collapses remain a topic of conversation.

This point also stands as a great example of why breaking down team schedules in April is often a pointless exercise, but not obsessing over every twist and turn of the NFL as a yearly hobby is no fun. According to me.

It is no secret that the Cowboys will be relying heavily on Ezekiel Elliott in 2018, expecting their star running back to suit up for 16 games and carry the offense. If you believe that Prescott and Elliott paired together full-time again is enough reason for optimism about the Cowboys, their December schedule becomes even more favorable.

Aside from playing three of the four games indoors and away from the elements, the Cowboys will face three of the worst rushing defenses in yards per game allowed from last season in December. With the Eagles being the glaring exception (leading the league in this category), the Cowboys should have their way on the ground with the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants over their final three games.

5. Thanksgiving Tradition

For the second time in three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys were victorious on Thanksgiving in 2016 over the Redskins, 31-26.

The Cowboys have only lost to the Redskins once on Thanksgiving, facing them a total of eight times and dropping a 2012 bout with Washington 38-31 (Robert Griffin III's rookie season with the Redskins).

Riding a four game winning streak against the Redskins, the Cowboys get to face an Alex Smith led Washington team on Thanksgiving to wrap up their first series against the NFC East. Following week 12, the Cowboys will still have meetings with the Eagles and New York Giants.

Some may look at this year's division as a two-team race, but counting absolutely any team out of an NFC East race is foolish - even more so in April.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

By this time next week, the Dallas Cowboys have a chance to look entirely different - adding as many as ten players at the 2018 NFL Draft. Only then will we have a better feel for how they stack up against this 2018 schedule.

Stay posted right here to Inside The Star for draft coverage live from Dallas, as I will be at AT&T Stadium for all seven rounds of picks alongside Slant Sports Draft Analyst Nick Flaherty.

Tell us what you think about "5 Points: Analyzing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Player News

Cowboys TE James Hanna Retiring

Jess Haynie

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James Hanna

In an unexpected bit of pre-draft news, Dallas Cowboys backup tight end James Hanna will be retiring after six seasons. He was drafted by the Cowboys in sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

The news of Hanna's retirement was first reported by ESPN's Todd Archer:

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys will place James Hanna on the reserve/retired list as the tight end could not get over a serious knee condition that troubled him for most of the last two seasons, according to sources. Hanna was not involved in the early part of the team's... https://t.co/45BAZ2avSC

Hanna, who turns 29 in July, missed all of 2016 with that knee issue and has had two surgeries. He was active for all 16 games last season but wasn't used much on offense, only having four catches. James did catch his first and only NFL touchdown in the team's Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Many thought Hanna would be a salary cap casualty this offseason, but a retirement has the same effect on the cap. The Cowboys now save $2.75 million off his scheduled $3.5 mullion cap hit in 2018.

James Hanna has stuck around this long thanks to being a proficient blocker and one of the standout players on special teams. Geoff Swaim, entering the final year of his rookie deal, will likely be trusted to fill those roles.

That said, tight end was already a targeted position for the Cowboys in next week's draft. Losing Hanna only give the team more incentive to add more talent.


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Player News

Optimistic Reports Emerge Around Randy Gregory

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Randy Gregory, Eagles
Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

Good news are coming to Dallas just in time. Less than a week from now, the NFL Draft will be held in the Cowboys' home, the AT&T Stadium. But the team may count with a defensive talent many in Cowboys Nation have tried to forget for a while now. Randy Gregory's comeback may just happen.

There's a lot of positions in the roster that need more help than the defensive end one, but after finding the "War Daddy" Jerry Jones has always wanted in DeMarcus Lawrence, finding a RDE this offseason would be a dream scenario.

Sure, there's a lot of young talent in this football team and they'll be coming off a season that put a chip on their shoulders. Even so, they'll need all the help they can get.

Fortunately for the Cowboys, some help could come in form of a very talented pass rusher. Randy Gregory is reportedly applying for reinstatement very soon and according to Mike Fisher and Bobby Belt, there are positive reports around the situation.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

Randy Gregory update: I'm told there is real momentum building. He is expected to apply for reinstatement in the week or two following next week's NFL Draft.

Cowboys Nation last saw the second round pick back in 2016, but his potential shouldn't be forgotten. Of course, the Cowboys shouldn't be considering Gregory for their 2018 plans, simply because there's risk of him not being available.

Even still, Dallas may get lucky at defensive end. After DeMarcus Lawrence has a breakout season in 2017, imagine the defensive line with Randy Gregory reinstated and rehabilitated to exploit his talent in the NFL.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

UPDATE: We're told Randy Gregory camp is ready to present to NFL the fact the #Cowboys DE has passed a large number of drug tests, hasn't failed one since July 2016. https://t.co/Hjgu2CqRtC

Despite some TMZ "reports", it looks like Gregory has been clean for a while. It sure should make Cowboys' fans happy and not only form a football perspective. A comeback would definitely be something amazing. He has a chance to write a unique story for himself.

Everyone likes second-chance stories. Gregory is a guy who had his share of problems. By coming back to the NFL, he's showing players and fans that change is possible. This wouldn't just be epic for Dallas Cowboys fans but NFL fans in general.

If Dallas is fortunate enough to see Gregory reinstated by the NFL, their fight in the trenches might see a big upgrade next season. Randy still has a lot to work on and he might not even be a starter right away, but the potential is right there.

The Cowboys could become a team capable of dominating the line of scrimmage both on offense and on defense.

Hopefully, Gregory is able to come back and shine as a professional player. He, and NFL fans deserve a story like that.

Tell me what you think about "Optimistic Reports Emerge Around Randy Gregory" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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