NFL Preview for August 12, 2010: Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys: -4 ½

Walker DanielsCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2010

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 8: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium on August 8, 2010 in Canton, Ohio. The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 16-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Don’t kid yourself, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to win in the preseason. He wants his team to make a statement to the betting world that the Cowboys are the team to beat this season, and that they will be the first host team to play in a Super Bowl. He wanted that win in the Hall of Fame game, and he wants the win this week against the Raiders.

NFL football betting will be a bit kinder to the Oakland Raiders this season than it has been in the past. The Raiders have finally given up on the quarterback experiment with Jamarcus Russell, and have brought in a real NFL quarterback in Jason Campbell. if you bet on NCAA football then you are familiar with the days when Campbell brought excitement and anticipation to a football field. The Raiders made the right move with Campbell, now they just need to build a team around him.

The Cowboys could be the deepest team in the NFL. Jerry Jones is an expert at manipulating the salary cap, and he has put in place a team that could win despite injuries at key positions. If quarterback Tony Romo goes down, veteran Jon Kitna steps in to keep the Cowboys rolling. Teams may not even notice if the Cowboys experience an injury on the offensive line, and their depth at wide receiver is just an unfair advantage.

On defense, the Cowboys boast an impressive array of cornerbacks and safeties. The only problem the Cowboys may have on defense is that they are so stacked with rookies at defensive back that they may have to either start a rookie, or they will definitely have to put rookies in their nickel and dime formations. That could open up the field to passing teams like the Patriots or the Saints.

Because this is only preseason, the NFL football betting lines have the Cowboys as four and a half point favorites. If this were the regular season, that line would be at least doubled. The Raiders are improved, but they will have some growing pains the next few seasons. The fate of the Raiders depends on how well they improve their offensive line to protect Campbell, and what kind of receiving corps they give Campbell to throw to.

On defense the Raiders are going to be better this season than they were last season. Richard Seymour has had a full season to become a leader in the locker room, and players listen to a former Super Bowl champion. The Raiders also picked up veteran defensive lineman John Henderson from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Henderson will help put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

The Raider fanatics can start to raise their hopes a little with some of the additions the team has made. The inherent instability of head coach Tom Cable can be a concern, but his coaching strategies are solid. If Cable can control himself and just focus on coaching, then he could be the guy that brings respectability back to Oakland. Pick: Dallas Cowboys 31-13