Oakland Raiders Preseason: Five Things To Watch vs. the Dallas Cowboys

Josh BroudyCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Stanford Routt #26 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders 2010 preseason is about to begin.

For most players, preseason games don't matter a lick. Just look at the 2008 and 2009 Indianapolis Colts. They finished 1-4 and went on to go 12-4 in the regular season.

For the bubble players, preseason games are vital. Some of them are fighting for their families, so that their kids can live a better life than they did.

With that in mind these are the top five reasons to watch, along with a couple movie titles just for fun.

1. Rolando McClain and Jason Campbell

McClain is the quarterback of the defense, and Campbell is the quarterback of the offense.

The more vital player is Campbell. We need him to play at a high level this season.

If McClain is a great mike linebacker, then all the better. Keep this in mind, however.

Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, and DeMeco Ryans have something in common. None of their teams made the playoffs last season. It obviously wasn't their fault, but it proves the point that you need a good quarterback and Gameplan to be successful.

I'm just looking for one or two good drives from Campbell. The Cowboys are a team he's familiar with.

2. John Henderson

I've been hearing mixed reports about Big John lately. I've heard he was dominated by rookie Bruce Campbell, and another time I'm hearing he's stuffing the run.

It's time to see if Henderson still has The Goods, or we'll find out if he was Expendable by the Jaguars.

3. Michael Bennett and Rock Cartwright

Cartwright was Rock Solid a season ago for the Redskins. He was thrust into a starting position because their top two runners got hurt. He also brings some value returning kicks, and possibly playing a little fullback.

Bennett is the classic Raider signing. We'll find out if he still has that 4.3 speed.

4. Kick Returning

You're probably going to see multiple Raiders return kicks. The silver and black averaged a league low 18 yards a return.

Since Jacoby Ford is out with a quad injury, you will likely see Yamon Figurs, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Nick Miller, and Rock Cartwright return kicks.

As of now, JLH is slated to return punts, but don't be surprised if that changes.

5. Stanford Routt

Maybe Cable wasn't just spewing his words earlier last week when he was touting this supposed competition with Chris Johnson.

Gil Brandt, the famed personnel guy who now works for NFL.com, praised Routt when he saw him in practice the other day. Who knows, maybe in year six, the light has gone on.

Don't be surprised if he's torched again in the nickel if matched up with a guy like Patrick Crayton or Kevin Ogletree.


There are other minor story lines to watch.

It looks like Veldheer will be getting snaps at center, and Bruce Campbell will see a lot of time at guard. Look for Nick Miller to see some time in specialty packages, also.

If you have any other story lines, put them in the comment section. Enjoy tomorrow's game.