Las Vegas Raiders | Franchise Sports Media
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FSM Preview: Raiders (2-0) vs Cowboys (0-2)  Preseason Game 3

Franchise Sports Media

If the Raiders stay healthy, they can make some noise.

The Raiders head to Dallas to face the team formerly known as America’s Team.

Josh McDaniels could potentially play more starters this Saturday.

Raiders vs Cowboys | Franchise Sports Media | Aidan O'Connell
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

After dominating another preseason game, the Raiders head to Dallas to face the Cowboys at what is very lovingly known as “Jerry’s World.” Las Vegas is coming off their second impressive win of the preseason. What seems to be evident from practice to both of the preseason games so far is the Raiders focus more on improving themselves than the opponent–as most teams don’t gameplan much for preseason games– which is always a recipe for success.

The preseason is a time of watching players not only earn a spot on their respective rosters but work out kinks and growing pains of adjusting to the NFL without it costing their team an actual football game.

For a coach who is careful and precise with handing out praise to his team, even Josh McDaniels has to admit he’s seen some things he’s liked so far this preseason from the younger Raiders players, specifically Tre Tucker.

Tre [Tucker], like all young players, they make a few mistakes in these games, and we talked about it last night in the postgame. Either they do it right, or they learn from the mistake. In either case, it’s a positive in reality right now. So, he had a couple of things offensively, and then the one play in the kicking game where I’m sure he’s going to learn from that. And if that ever happens to him again, he’ll make the right decision there. But I loved his mental toughness. I loved his attitude. That’s football. You’ve got to persevere. You’re not going to play a perfect game most Sundays in our league.”

McDaniels continued.

“So, to be able to come back from that, and then make a handful of plays offensively to help us go down there, put the ball in, then he had a couple of really nice returns as the game wore on. So, tough kid mentally, tough kid physically, and he’s going to learn from all those mistakes and be better for it. And then the defense, again, we’ve talked about it all year, if you do the right things and you close the space, and the rush works with the coverage, and the coverage works with the rush, you usually give yourself a chance to be around the ball. And before you can start turning the ball over, you’ve got to get close. And so we’re really trying to track attempts and close space in the passing game, make efforts to get the ball out when we get near the runner in terms of creating fumbles and those kinds of things. Excited to see Isaiah [Pola-Mao] make a good play yesterday on that. And again, you’ve got to be able to capitalize on an offensive mistake, and it wasn’t a super hard play, but he made the catch, and then he made a good return, and we did a decent job of blocking for him escort him to the end zone. So, happy for our guys whenever they make plays, and looking for our defensive continue to try to make that a point of emphasis.”

As the Raiders head into their third preseason game against Dallas, a team that has been on the opposite end of the spectrum the first two weeks, McDaniels and his coaching staff are still looking for growth and development from every player on the team. McDaniels says he and his coaching staff plan to continue adding to the team’s workload as the season nears.

“We obviously need to take stock of, ‘What do we need to do better?’ We did that from San Francisco to LA. We’ll do that again today and tomorrow as a coaching staff and just go back over and review the entire week. We had two great practice days with LA and then a preseason game full of, I would say, situations and things that we can all learn from. So, we’ll try to identify what that bucket of things are in each phase and go work on that this week, as well as continue to focus on some of the competitive situations on our roster and also the evolution of some things that we haven’t quite got to yet. Like I said, we’ve only had 15 practice days. So, there’s definitely some things that are still outstanding that we haven’t necessarily introduced to our football team in all three phases. We’ll continue to sprinkle that in, along with focusing on the areas that we can improve in and developing our young players and seeing how some of the competition kind of shakes out here as we head into the Dallas week.”

The Las Vegas Raiders are showing trust in their offense. 

As we enter the last week of preseason games, there are still no updates on Josh Jacobs.

Josh Jacobs will return soon.

Las Vegas Raiders | Franchise Sports Media Josh Jacobs
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Saturday’s game is the last preseason game the Raiders will play, which means it will be the last opportunity for anyone to see what Josh Jacobs could potentially look like in what is all but a new situation with a new quarterback, new receivers, and more.

The good news is that Jacobs signed a 1-year deal for $12 million Saturday morning, ending his holdout. Jacobs confirmed the deal with a Tweet simply saying, “I’m back.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero were the first to report the deal on Saturday morning. The deal replaces the $10.091 million franchise tag and clears the way for Jacobs to return to the Raiders after staying away from the club throughout the offseason and training camp.

I felt like everybody else thought it was more serious of a thing than I did,Jacobs said of the declining of the 5th year option, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.

For me, I’m like, ‘OK, that just means I’m going to get paid younger.’ … That was my point of view. I felt like it was a perfect situation because it was all on me. I controlled the narrative at that point. Whatever I did, whether it was good or bad, it would be on me. I kind of liked that. I kind of liked that pressure a little bit.

Jacobs can earn another $200,000 in incentives, per Rapoport and Pelissero.

Jacobs led the NFL in rushing with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2022, which also was a contract year for the 2019 first-round pick out of Alabama. Given the timing of the agreement, Jacobs should have ample time to prepare for the Raiders‘ season opener against the Broncos.

The Las Vegas Raiders are depending on their depth at running back, should Jacobs not return..

Young Raiders are continuing to make progress as week one approaches.

.The Raiders have many options on the offensive line.

Raiders vs Cowboys | Franchise Sports Media | Zamir White and Aidan O'Connell
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Arguably, the two most significant areas of focus for McDaniels and the Raiders this offseason were the depth on their offensive line and at the running back positions beyond the starters. McDaniels says that young guys like Dalton Wagner, McClendon Curtis, and Zamir White are working to improve.

“Always here, [Dalton Wagner and McClendon Curtis] love football. Literally, the two of them are kind of joined at the hip, which is interesting because they’ve ended up playing quite a bit right beside one another also on the offensive line. But when you see them together, they’re in the meal room together, they’re in the meeting room together, they’re on the practice field early together. They do a lot of things to try to help each other continue to grow as football players, which is great. They showed some toughness in both of these preseason games and have continued to make some progress in practice relative to all the things that our offensive linemen are responsible for. So, all you can ask for from them now is that they give great effort to try to improve and fix the things that we’re addressing, which both of them do. They’re out there every day. Their durability has been very good. They’re tough guys, so a lot of positives in that regard, and we’ll just continue to work with them and grow. And that’s how a lot of really good football players, linemen, have created careers for themselves, and those two guys got a lot of great traits.”

McDaniels continued.

Zamir [White] has made a lot of progress in every area. He caught the ball last night out of the backfield. He knows who he’s responsible for in protection. He’s chipping in, slamming on the edges when he’s responsible to do that to help the tackles. He’s taken great care of the football and protected it very well, which is a huge thing for us and our team, and he runs downhill. He’s physical – there were some plays last night again where maybe it’s a two-yard run, but it’s a five-yard run. Or it’s a four or five-yard run, and it’s a seven-yard run because he’s got a great finish and forward lean. He makes extra yards on contact most plays. So, he’s just continuing to progress and improve, and the more he plays, the better he does.”

The Raiders could be special.

The Raiders and the Cowboys will face off in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday evening with kickoff set for 5 p.m.

The Raiders’ offense could be special.

– Zeke Trezevant – Franchise Sports Media

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