Coming off a solid showing in the Hall of Fame game last week, the Dallas Cowboys will face off against the Oakland Raiders tonight in their second preseason game of the year. Although many of the Cowboys’ starters will play for the first time, I would not expect them to be out there for more then one or two series. That again means this game gives an opportunity to a number of unknown players to shine. Here are five of those players I’ll be watching especially close tonight.
Running Backs Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle – Both Tanner and Randle played very well in the Hall of Fame game. Each showed a consistency that had been lacking in training camp. They also proved that the contest for the back-up running back position was a lot closer then most of us thought. Now, it is time for them to start distancing themselves from the other. Tanner has the advantage due to his time in the system and his aggressive running-style. But Randle has had less overall reps due to a thumb injury that kept him out of OTA’s and mini-camps. As he continues to learn then scheme and becomes more comfortable, his numbers should only get better. It will be interesting to see if either of them can supplant running back Lance Dunbar as starter DeMarco Murray’s primary back-up.