The Oakland Raiders have announced that they will be holding joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys during the second week of August. The teams have scheduled two days of practices together, both taking place at the Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California. The Oakland Raiders hold their training camps in Napa, so the team will not have to travel too far (about 400 miles).
The last time the Raiders held joint practices with another team leading up to the season was back in 2009, when they scrimmaged against the San Francisco 49ers. Anyone who recalls those practices knows things got a little chippy. Since then, the silver and black have kept to themselves.
These practices will give both teams a chance to gauge what their players can do against NFL talent they have not been seeing on a daily basis. Also, as noted above, joint practices often tend to bring a level of intensity that just does not exist when playing against your own teammates.
Sometimes, that intensity can lead to accidents. One example: the New England Patriots held joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year ago, and Tom Brady suffered a minor knee sprain which occurred when Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn pushed Patriots left tackle Nate Solder into Brady.
Everything turned out fine in the end, as Brady started all 16 regular season games and passed for over 4,300 yards. But one thing is for certain — had one of New England’s defensive ends done that, they would have been chewed out for not respecting the no-contact jersey and protecting the golden child. Coaches don’t have that kind of control over players for other teams. Practicing with another NFL squad always carries some risk to it, but the coaches for the Raiders and the Cowboys must feel like they will get enough out of the joint practices to justify the risk.