When the Raiders (6-7) welcome the Dallas Cowboys into Oakland, the mood in the stadium should feel the same. Yet, bubbling under the surface are seeds of discontent, anger and outright frustration for both teams. As polar opposite as these two franchises appear, they share a few traits that make this game rather interesting. The owners of each team are quite familiar with each other.
Truthfully, few people, Cowboys fans included, actually like Jerry Jones. Many regard him as nosy, overbearing, and petty. Yet somehow, fans remain loyal to that star emblazoned on their helmets. Under those consequences, little he does will annoy fans to discuss leaving.
On the other hand, in the Bay Area people revile Mark Davis. Based on his decision to relocate, no other owner draws more anger. Fans line up to curse him, scream, yell, start gofundme pages to sue for naming rights. However, like Jones, Davis does not really care what fans or anyone else thinks of how they operate their respective franchises. One thing they do share is the speculation that Jerry Jones greased the paths for the relocation to Las Vegas.
If you look up possible nightmare scenarios, suspension and complete offensive collapse should appear. The once-mighty Raiders offense ground to a halt in 2017. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing strayed from the Musgrave formula. Instead, he put his own spin on the offense. Consequently, the offense spun right into the ground. Dropped passes, shaky calls and a tangible lack of passion affect the Raiders.
On the other hand, the Cowboys (7-6) will play without their cornerstone player. Running back Ezekiel Elliott transforms even the most mundane offense into an exciting one. Nevertheless, Elliott will watch from the sidelines. Whether his suspension for violating league conduct policy is just or not he sits. His absence alters everything the Cowboys do offensively. Without Elliott, the threat of the big run vanishes. Alfred Morris is a sturdy back that will not run to daylight.
Immediately, the comparison between Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant jump off the page. While Dez may have a slight weight advantage, Crabtree owns the slightest edge in route running. Plus, the y will face suspect secondaries. In return, these two should combine for 200 yards and 12-14 catches. With Crabtree seeing Orlando Scandrick and Bryant seeing Amerson, Smith, or Carrie, expect big players. Over the last four games, Bryant caught 19 passes and two touchdowns. Conversely, Crabtree grabbed sixteen passed, hauling in zero touchdowns. Actually the last time he score was the Miracle in Oakland.
Additionally, these two premier wideout do share another quality. Outside of hailing from Texas, they each despise one divisional opponent. For Crabtree, Aqib Talib sends anger through his body. Meanwhile, Bryant dislikes Josh Norman. Each receiver either engaged in a fight or arrived close. That is a testament to their tunnel vision, which will either help or harm.
Ultimately, this game boils down to fewest mistakes and big plays. The Raiders need this win. Another loss could send this franchise into a tailspin. For Oakland, a victory staves off elimination for another week. In addition, the wolves at Jack Del Rio’s door quiet down.