Behind Enemy Lines: Dallas Cowboys

Previewing the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders opponents, we look today at the Dallas Cowboys.
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Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven goes behind enemy lines to get the latest information on the Las Vegas Raiders' upcoming opponents for the 2021 NFL season straight from the source covering them.

Raider Nation is up for a feast as the Raiders travel to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day to take on the Cowboys.

In a primetime game, both teams will have the opportunity to showcase their high-powered offenses, but there will be one team this year that everyone will get to see much closer on HBO's Hard Knocks, and that is the Cowboys.

"We had a conversation the other day with Dave Campo, the former Cowboys head coach. Things didn't go well when he was a head coach and he was involved in that first go round with Hard Knocks. And he told us. It's invasive, it's a distraction, and Mike McCarthy damn sure doesn't need it," journalist Mike Fisher said.

Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of two best-selling books on the Cowboys, Mike Fisher, recently joined Raider Maven's Editor and Publisher Hondo Carpenter on the radio. Carpenter was co-hosting with Clay Baker on the "Pritch & Clay" morning show on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE).

Both teams struggled on red-zone possessions last year and the Cowboys are just hoping their starting players are healthy enough to be on the field.

"Obviously that starts with (quarterback) Dak Prescott, who went out with that gruesome leg injury in Week 5. He was on pace to put up monster numbers and they believe that will happen again this year," Fisher said. "We're gonna have a rebound season from Zeke Elliott."

The Cowboys also have one of the best wide receiver groups with ex-Raider Amari Cooper, Cee Dee Lamb, and Michael Gallup.

The offensive line saw the departure of Travis Frederick to early retirement. Zach Martin, Tyron Smith, La'el Collins all went down throughout the season, and all three of them should be healthy and ready to go.

The Cowboys were extremely unhappy with the teaching ability of that staff as they tried to install a new defense, new terminology, with new players through Zoom meetings during the Covid-19 restrictions.

So now the Raiders will see new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn run a different kind of philosophy than what Mike Nolan was doing a year ago.

The Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East find themselves under .500. It will be a great disappointment, and Coach McCarthy will be in trouble if they don't finish above .500 this season, especially in a 17-game schedule.

The Raiders will be in a showdown in Dallas; expect both offenses to put up points.

This game will come down to the wire and which defense steps up at the end.

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