The Cowboys have their final full practice of training camp on Thursday before ending their California trip with a game against the Chargers on Saturday night.
If the goal of training camp is to answer questions about the state of the football team, this year's edition can be pretty much written off as a failure. Coming into camp we knew that Tony Romo was capable of leading a potent offense and that DeMarcus Ware was a beast and that's about all we know for certain as we leave camp.
Everything else is up for grabs at best or trending downward fast enough to make you wonder if the Cowboys have any chance to contend this season. Here's some of the areas that the Cowboys failed to clear up during their time on the West Coast.
Interior Offensive Line: The Cowboys came into camp hopeful that Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau would nail down the guard spots while Phil Costa either got beat out at center or improved because of the competition. Instead, all three have been hurt and the team has had to reach into the open market to bring back guys who were bad enough last year to force the Livings and Bernadeau signings in the first place. To say this is a problem for the team is about the same as saying water is wet.
Third Receiver: Depending on the day, we've seen Kevin Ogletree, Andre Holmes and Dwayne Harris sitting in the third receiver spot. While expecting an etched in stone winner of this battle might have been pushing it, expecting someone to separate from the pack wasn't a ridiculous notion. That hasn't happened, which is why the Cowboys actually get asked if they have interest in Chad Johnson, and the injury to Miles Austin has only made the lack of clarity a bigger issue moving forward.
Safety: The safety play was fairly hideous last season and it's not clear anything has improved this time around. Brodney Pool was released because he was terribly out of shape, leaving Barry Church and Gerald Sensabaugh in line for the starting jobs. That would mean more if they were actually pushed during camp, but they pretty much took the jobs by default.
The Rookies: What help are the Cowboys going to get from this year's rookie class? Magic 8-Ball says ask again later because Morris Claiborne, Matt Johnson, Danny Coale, Kyle Wilber and Caleb McSurdy have been injured too much to actually get a read on them as players. The rest of the preseason could help things come into focus, but missing all of those reps isn't going to do the team any favors.
Clarity about the Cowboys remains a dream. Given the significance of these unknowns, that might very well turn into a nightmare.