Backup pivots in spotlight as Cowboys clash with Raiders

The first full week of NFL preseason action wraps up Monday night (8:00 pm Eastern) with the Dallas Cowboys hitting the field in Oakland as a slight 1-point underdog against the favored Raiders.

This will be the first preseason game for both the Cowboys and Raiders, who finished with identical 8-8 records in 2011 and missed the playoffs. Against the spread, Oakland posted a record of 9-6-1 while Dallas was 5-10-1.

Monday night's matchup, which opened with a total of 35 points according to OddsShark.com, will also mark the NFL head-coaching debut of new Raiders' boss Dennis Allen who served as Denver's defensive coordinator last season.

While star quarterbacks Tony Romo and Carson Palmer are expected to handle the first series for the Cowboys and Raiders respectively, many eyes will be watching to see how backups Kyle Orton of Dallas and Matt Leinart of Oakland perform at the helm of their new teams.

Also tonight, the two best teams in the American League open a four-game series at Yankee Stadium as New York welcomes the Texas Rangers.

Deadline acquisition Ryan Dempster is scheduled to make his third start for Texas tonight, while David Phelps will step in for the injured C.C. Sabathia in pinstripes. Matt Harrison is expected to square off against Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday night.

 


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