Boys at Raiders Odds

The T.O.-less Dallas Cowboys travel to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Thursday night to take on the Raiders in Week 1 of the NFL preseason.

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The Cowboys are hoping that with the departure of toxic receiver Terrell Owens, that they’ll play more as a team this year and have fewer distractions.  Dallas is also hoping that quarterback Tony Romo will become more of a vocal leader inside the locker room and out on the field so that the team will maybe reach its full potential.

The Cowboys weren’t major players in free agency this offseason, but they did sign productive defensive end Igor Olshansky (formerly of the Chargers) and veteran linebacker Keith Brooking (Falcons) to bolster their defense. They also used six of their first nine selections in April’s draft to address the defensive side of the ball.

While there’s optimism brewing in Dallas, there is once again pessimism surrounding Oakland. Owner Al Davis was criticized for drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree in the first round and quarterback JaMarcus Russell continues to struggle in his development. By all accounts, it should be another long year in Oakland.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Cowboys 2-point underdogs entering Thursday night’s action. The over/under for the game has also been set at 34.5.

While looking at the trends, Oakland is 12-5 against the spread in the first two weeks of the preseason, while Dallas is just 5-19. The last time these two teams met, the Raiders edged the Cowboys 19-13 in October of 2005.

2009 NFL Preseason: Cowboys at Raiders Odds & Over/Under Totals:

Dallas Cowboys +2 Over 34.5

Oakland Raiders –2 Under 34.5

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Posted: 8/13/09 2:50PM ET

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