Raiders expect healthy backfield vs. Cowboys
Darren McFadden will see his first action since the November 3 game against the Eagles. (AP)
ARLINGTON, Tex. – It’s official now. Darren McFadden’s going to play. The Raiders running back returns Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys, after missing three straight games with a hamstring strain.
The sixth-year veteran will get significant touches against the Cowboys, but he has lost his starting spot. That now belongs to Rashad Jennings, who leads the NFL in total offense over the past four weeks.
Jennings has been everything McFadden isn’t in that span. He’s been tough, consistent and durable during his time as feature back. McFadden will cut into his carry count, but the pair will work together against the NFL’s No. 30-ranked run defense.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is also active, although it’s unclear whether he’s involved in Thursday’s game plan. Matt McGloin will make his third straight start against the No. 31-ranked pass defense.
The Raiders rendered tackle Menelik Watson and guard Lamar Mady inactive, yet still have eight active offensive linemen. Jared Veldheer will make his season debut at left tackle and will match up against the Cowboys and Khalif Barnes is expected to play left guard.
Receiver Denarius Moore, safety Tyvon Branch and end Jason Hunter were ruled out Wednesday. WR Brice Butler and defensive lineman Brian Sanford were healthy scratches.