Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys: Does It Matter?

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIAugust 8, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26:  Running back Justin Fargas #25 of the Oakland Raiders at Cowboys Stadium on November 26, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Raiders will begin their 2010 season with a road game at Dallas. Many fans are anxious for this game. We will all see how much the Raiders have improved from January 3, 2010 when they finished the 2009 season. The fans will be able to see their favorite star players in action...for about 15 minutes.

Jason Campbell, Rolando McClain and Darrius Heyward-Bey 2.0 will make their Raiders debut. 

As the game approaches I have begun thinking about how much this game actually means. Is it a ball game or is it a dress rehearsal?

Last year, the Raiders hosted the Cowboys to start the pre-season and the Raiders won by a decisive margin. JaMarcus Russell hit Chaz Schilens five times to lead the Raiders starters to the lead and the back-ups put it away.

Now we all remember how well JaMarcus Russell and the 2009 Oakland Raiders ended up. The Raiders finished the year 5-11 and Russell was a back-up for the second half of the season.

The 2006 Raiders had a 4-1 pre-season only to have a 2-14 regular season. 

On that note, I will still be watching very closely on August 12th when the Raiders play the Cowboys. 

At the end of the day, pre-season is like a win-win situation. If the Raiders lose I can just say that it doesn't matter, but if the Raiders win then the optimism will continue to build for the regular season opener at Tennessee.