The Cowboys have looked awful in the preseason, getting outscored 40-13 amidst of comedy of errors in going 0-2.
That needs to change Saturday night. And it will.
Oh, they might not necessarily beat the Vikings at AT&T Stadium, but the performance will be greatly elevated by the “dress rehearsal” nature of the game. The starters will play more snaps tomorrow than in any other exhibition game, and the team you see against the Vikings – at least for a half – will closely resemble the one that will take the field in the regular-season opener Sept. 13 against the Giants.
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“Saturday night will be a good test for our football team,” head coach Jason Garrett said before his team left training camp in Oxnard a day earlier than scheduled. “Our starters will play the most in this game than they will in any of the preseason games, so it’ll be a good opportunity for them to get their feet underneath them a little bit and just to play some football. We’ll have a different substitution pattern, like every team in the league, for this ball game.”
What the dress rehearsal means is much more playing time for Tony Romo, who has taken all of three snaps so far. Dez Bryant might play, though the Cowboys are being very careful with his nagging hamstring injury.
“Dez has been practicing and not practicing over the last few weeks coming off a hamstring injury, so we’re hopeful that Dez will play and the other guys will play,” Garrett said. “If they don’t we’ll get them ready for the season another way.”
On offense the Cowboys would love to see a burst from running backs Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden, who should be running behind most – if not all – of the starters along the offensive line.
On defense, Morris Claiborne begins his starting job in the wake of Orlando Scandrick’s season-ending injury and we’ll see the debut of linebacker Sean Lee, set to see his first game action since tearing his ACL in June 2014.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.