Cowboys edge Raiders in snoozer
OAKLAND, Calif. — Darren McFadden needed one series to show he's in midseason form for Oakland following a foot injury that cut his last season short.
Most of the rest of the first-team offensive players for the Raiders and Dallas Cowboys need plenty of work to get back to that level.
McFadden picked up where he left off last season by gaining 38 yards on Oakland's first three plays of the exhibition season and the Raiders went on to lose to the Dallas Cowboys 3-0 on Monday night.
McFadden, who missed the last nine games of 2011 with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, opened the game with a 4-yard run, an 18-yard reception and a 16-yard run to delight of the Raiders fans.
But Carson Palmer threw an interception to Gerald Sensabaugh on the next play for Oakland and both the Raiders and Cowboys struggled to generate much of anything until the reserves took over in the second half.
Kyle Orton drove Dallas 67 yards on the opening drive of the second half to set up Dan Bailey's 33-yard field goal and that proved to be the only scoring of the night.
McFadden left after that first series and Palmer couldn't move the Raiders without him. Matt Leinart played the rest of a scoreless first half and completed six passes to undrafted free agent Rod Streater but couldn't put any points on the board.
Dez Bryant, whose status was in question after leaving practice early Saturday because of hamstring tightness, came up with the only big play for Dallas' first-team offense when he made a good adjustment in the air for a 24-yard gain from Tony Romo on the first offensive drive for the Cowboys.
That was the only first down in three series with Romo under center.
Jake Locker will get his first start of the preseason on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Coach Mike Munchak made the announcement after Monday's practice that the 2011 first-round pick would start after Matt Hasselbeck started Saturday night's 27-17 loss in Seattle.
The plan calls for both quarterbacks to play longer than they did in the opener, with Locker going about 20 to 25 plays with the offense.
"You want to give them enough to where you can get some drives going. You hope you're out there longer. You want to get them in the 20s as far as plays," Munchak said. "It's a position he hasn't been in yet. Obviously we started Matt last week and we'll do the opposite this weekend."
Locker played only one series off the bench with the first team against the Seahawks.
Running back Ryan Mathews is targeting the Chargers' Sept. 10 season opener against the Oakland Raiders for his return from a broken collarbone suffered in San Diego's first preseason game.
"I think I heal pretty fast, so I think I'll be good in time to play against the Raiders," Mathews said.
Mathews was injured on his first carry of the preseason in the first quarter of the Chargers' game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. He had surgery on Friday and the Chargers said he would miss four to six weeks.
Coach Norv Turner said it'll take a "fortunate" recovery for Mathews to play in four weeks.
Mathews led the Chargers with 1,091 yards rushing and a 4.9-yard average last season, earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has been taken off the physically unable to perform list by the New York Giants and can start practicing with the team.
The Super Bowl champions made the move Monday after Nicks passed his physical. The four-year veteran will be limited for his first three workouts. His first could be today.
Nicks missed the first two weeks of training camp at the University at Albany while completing rehabilitation on a broken right foot that he hurt in May during Organized Team Activities. Last week, he started running some pass patterns for trainers and felt good.
A first-round draft pick in 2009, Nicks caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley's court hearing on charges including driving under the influence and attempting to elude police has been pushed back to Sept. 26.
Mobile, Ala., County District Judge George Hardesty Jr. granted defense attorney Sid Harrell's request for a delay on Friday. Fairley earlier had a hearing on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in Mobile Municipal Court continued until Nov. 27.
The St. Louis Rams are dropping plans to play home games in London in 2013 and 2014, citing a need to focus on negotiations on their lease and ease fan discontent.
The Rams said Monday that they will play the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28 while withdrawing their commitment for home games in London the following two seasons.
"We want to grow globally, but we need to make sure we're on solid footing first here in St. Louis," said Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer, at a news conference.
Louisiana State Police investigators have found no evidence that the Saints or general manager Mickey Loomis rigged Superdome wiring so opposing coaches' radio communications could be intercepted.
"This has been an intensive investigation, and after numerous interviews we have determined that there is no evidence that state laws have been violated," State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said Monday after meeting with Saints owner Tom Benson in New Orleans to brief him on the status of the probe.
State police investigators have been working in conjunction with the FBI since the eavesdropping allegations surfaced in news reports in April.