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Cowboys @ Rams Preseason Game: Looking Ahead To Saturday

It has been a long time since the game clock wound down on the 2015 season. On Saturday the blue-and-silver-clad Cowboys will once again square off against someone in a different colored jersey. It may not mean anything in the standings but it does mean football is back.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

To be perfectly honest the first preseason game should be a lot more meaningful to the Los Angeles Rams. The franchise represented the city of Los Angeles from 1946 until 1994 and the upcoming game will mark their first game back in the area where they spent the bulk of their tenure in the league. There is no doubt they want to leave a positive impression during their first outing. LA is responding to the team's return, demand for tickets for the game against the Cowboys exceeded expectations.

According to The Los Angeles Times, close to 91,000 fans could be in attendance for the Rams' preseason home opener against the Cowboys on Saturday, which would completely fill the Coliseum.

By contrast, last year the Cowboys and San Diego Chargers played their first preseason game before less than 60,000 fans. This contest means something to nearly 100,000 Los Angelino football fans and that makes it important for the Rams no matter how meaningless preseason games appear.

For the Cowboys it is important as well. We may or may not see the starters in action, but the coaches will get an opportunity to take a look at some guys under game conditions. You may remember a guy named Jeff Heath who made a habit of showing up on film during these preseason games. That led to a role for him on the Cowboys roster. Several more bubble players will be looking to carve out a niche for themselves the hard way in 2016. The Dallas staff has plans in place to give them the opportunity.

"Obviously your starters don't play that much in the first preseason game, they don't play a lot in the fourth preseason game -€” that's not unique to us. That's everybody around the league, but these games are really, really important, and they're very valuable reps for everybody on the team. If you play six plays or 66 plays in the game, it's an important opportunity for you to show yourself and be the best version of yourself. That's what we'll emphasize to our team." - Jason Garrett

For a player who is raw but has some potential, it could be now or never. Take Andy Jones for example. He is a wide receiver who has shown the staff that there is something for them to work with and mold. He will be given the opportunities that he has earned since joining the team. It will be up to him to take advantage. More than just impressing the Cowboys coaches he will also have an opportunity to display his talents and his progress to scouts from around the league. A meaningless game could turn into the most meaningful game a guy like Jones will ever play.

Beyond the guys fighting to put off getting a job for a year or two there is also the competition for the backup quarterback role. Jameill Showers and Dak Prescott will have the chance to step up and prove to the Cowboys that their is no need for the team to invest resources in securing a veteran passer to serve as Tony Romo's understudy. Opportunity knocks for the young quarterbacks. Stacking one strong performance on top of another over the next few weeks could make all the difference in the organizations plans for this season. They have laid the foundation and will be looking to put everything together against the Rams and beyond.

As fans we know that everything will be vanilla; no new twists or wrinkles will make their debut on Saturday. Still it is football and we are looking forward to that fix. The final score will mean nothing (although I for one hate to see them lose). Sure we would like to see if the new and improved Morris Claiborne is for real, and it has been a long times since Romo and Dez Bryant connected on a scoring strike, but that is not important for now. We could see those things but likely not. We will see the Dallas Cowboys playing football. For now it is enough.