With the Raiders set to meet up with the Dallas Cowboys on Friday, I caught up with Dave Halprin, the lead writer of Blogging The Boys to get some insight on what we can expect from the team he knows best -- the Dallas Cowboys.
Here is the question and answer session:
1. George Selvie looked unstoppable in the Hall of Fame game. Jeris Pendelton also had a pretty good game. Were those performances out of nowhere or should we expect more of the same from him on Friday?
The coaches had been saying that Selvie looked good in the practices and all the reports from training camp had him making plays on the field. But I don't think anyone expected him to play as well as he did in the Hall of Fame game. That was a real eye-opener. Selvie has knocked around the NFL for a few years but never made a name for himself, so we're all wondering if this was a one-time thing or has the desperation to stay in the league elevated his game. We were pleased with Pendelton's effort, but he has a lot of guys in front of him. He would really need to have a few standout games for the Cowboys to consider him for a roster spot.
2. Former Raiders undrafted free agent and Bay Area native, Sterling Moore, is in camp with the Cowboys. How has he performed?
He's done pretty well. Nothing spectacular but he should make the club. Right now he sits fourth on the cornerback depth chart and was getting the first team reps when both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne were out this week. Carr should be back for the Raiders game but it's looking doubtful that Claiborne will play. So Orlando Scandrick will probably take his place and Moore will be the first corner off the bench.
3. Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten all sat out of the Hall of Fame game. Can we expect to see them Friday? How long are should we see them in the game?
The Cowboys are expected to play all their starters that aren't hurt, so those four guys should see their debut on Friday night. My guess is they will play a series or two, depending on the flow of the game. I doubt we would see Romo for more than that, and probably not the other guys, either. We might want to protect Witten, last year against Oakland is when he hurt his spleen!
4. With the Cowboys recent attempts to pick up a free agent guard, is there worry the offensive line will be an issue?
Most definitely, if you ask most Cowboys fans, offensive line and safety are the areas with the most concern. Tyron Smith is the left tackle, and is the one guy we can feel confident about. Ronald Leary is a second-year guy who looks to be taking over the left guard spot now that veteran starter Nate Livings is injured. Leary shows promise, but is very inexperienced. First-round draft pick Travis Frederick is winning the center spot, and has looked good doing it. He's a smart player who is already making all the calls along the line, but once again, no NFL experience. The Cowboys wanted Brandon Moore for the right guard spot, currently manned by Mackenzy Bernadeau, who is just returning because of injury. In his place the Cowboys had been playing David Arkin, but he seems to be falling out of favor. At right tackle, Doug Free has had a good camp so far, but had a terrible season last year. We'll just have to see how it shakes out.
5. What young player(s) are the Cowboys the most excited about?
Safety J.J. Wilcox is one name that many Cowboys fans have been excited about. But we were hit with a dose of reality when he struggled some in the HoF game. We'll see if he plays better on Friday. Running back Lance Dunbar is another guy we're high on, he's a change of pace back who should do well out in space when relieving DeMarco Murray. But Phillip Tanner, another running back, stole the show on offense last week, he's pushing for playing time, too. Wide receiver Terrance Williams is also an exciting prospect although he won't play this week after concussion issues from a practice hit.
I answered five questions from him as well. To see that Q-n-A session, click here.