Jason Garrett announced that the preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night will be a business as usual affair. What that means is the starters will get a little playing time, then will be quickly removed for the backups. Despite the lockout that robbed all NFL teams of valuable preparation time, Garrett sees no reason to change things up.
"The starters will play similar to what they’ve done in previous preseasons," Garrett said following a walkthrough practice that ended training camp for the Cowboys in San Antonio. "We don’t put a particular play number or drive number on it, but we’d like to get the first units out there and have a good couple of first drives, play eight, 10, 12 whatever it is plays where we feel good about it, and then get the second guys in there and see them work."
Five Cowboys won't see action tomorrow night.
Keith Brooking (hamstring), center Andre Gurode (knee), cornerback Mike Jenkins (stinger), cornerback Terence Newman (groin) and nose tackle Jay Ratliff (hip).
All are expected back at practice in the coming week except for Newman who will miss the entire preseason. Sean Lee will get the start for Brooking, and he looks like a player who is making his move. K.D. reported during the lockout that the Cowboys want to split snaps between Brooking, Bradie James and Lee this season, but I have to wonder how long it will be until Brooking is the rotation guy behind Lee and James. And keep an eye on intriguing prospect Orie Lemon, he made a splash at camp, can he keep it up?
Other guys to watch: Alex Albright, who has been getting a ton of positive reviews for his play at camp. Lonyae Miller who impressed with Choice and Murray out. In the battle for the third, fourth and fifth receiver spot, Kevin Ogletree leads the pack but needs to prove that his up-and-down past is over and that he can be consistent. Jesse Holley needs to show he can be more than just a special teamer, and rookie Dwayne Harris had a quiet camp. Maybe he can turn it on in a game situation.
Also, the kicking game is suspect. Both David Buehler and Dan Bailey have been inconsistent in camp. And don't forget the offensive line where David Arkin and Tyron Smith are getting a taste of semi-real NFL football. How will they measure up?