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La’el Collins expected to play for Cowboys vs. Texans after leaving practice on Wednesday

Good news for the Cowboys right tackle.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Turns out he is a go.
Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for their third preseason game against the Houston Texans. This will be a dress rehearsal for them, although it is not going to be the same for everyone, apparently.

As has already been reported, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and DeMarcus Lawrence are among the starters not playing in the game. There was some concern about another starter who had an issue previously in the week, but that has turned out to not be a big deal.

This is important, because it looks like the team will have the entire starting offensive line operating. While Garrett Gilbert and Tony Pollard are the expected fill-ins for the backfield, having that line for pass protection and run blocking will give us a much better idea of how ready this offense is for the regular season. Gilbert will also be working with a full set of wide receivers as Amari Cooper is expected to get at least some action.

It will be a test of sorts for Kellen Moore’s offense. While it will be very vanilla and there is the obvious downgrade behind center, we still will have some indication of how things are going to work with a much healthier line than the team had last year. It also will show how Moore can adjust to working without his star QB.

It is also worth noting that having the starting defense out on the field for most of the first half will be a great preview of what Dan Quinn hath wrought. Especially riveting will be who he uses at linebacker in the nickel as well as when he deploys three. Other positions will be very worth noting as there are still open questions, such as who starts at corner and how they line up in the interior of the defensive line. There is another encouraging note from the unpadded walkthrough on Friday as well.

While it is not the full picture, we will have a much better idea of the outline of things for the real football games early in the Texans tilt. And of course the depth battles will continue after the starters go to the bench. It will be informative, hopefully in a positive way.