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Cowboys vs. Bengals Preseason 2013: What Dallas Needs From Tonight's Game

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The regular season is getting oh so close, just a couple of weeks away. Tonight, Dallas will line up most of their starters for extended play, looking to get ready for Sept 8th.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys battle the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night, we're supposed to get a good look at the starting units on both sides of the ball. But as with every NFL team, there are injured starters that won't play. For the Cowboys, these injured starters not playing may lead to a particularly funky lineup along the offensive line. Which brings me to the first thing Dallas needs on Saturday.

1. Keep Tony Romo Safe. The Cowboys have been experimenting with Doug Free at right guard and Jeremy Parnell at right tackle this week. Free has never really played guard, Parnell is just working back into shape from injury. If the Cowboys decide to use this lineup, with Mackenzy Bernadeau at left guard, they better be careful. One mis-communication or slip up from the newfangled offensive line could be disastrous for Romo. Play it smart Dallas, I understand you're concerned about week one and not having Ron Leary or Nate Livings, but don't go blowing the season because of it.

2. Stop The Turnovers. Kind of forgotten from last week were all the crazy turnovers. Forgotten because one week is a fluke, two weeks is a trend. Dallas has to hold on to the football tonight and flip the turnover margin in their favor.

3. Get The Running Game Going. Dallas needs to get DeMarco Murray some work and they need to establish some confidence in their running game. They need to figure out if Phillip Tanner or Joseph Randle should be the primary backup while Lance Dunbar is out. The dress rehearsal is a good time to test these concepts out against a first-string defense.

4. Backup Safeties. We need to figure out if anybody can play behind Will Allen and Barry Church. Too many injuries and missed practices, and so much inexperience... can anybody step up?

What are you looking for in tonight's game?