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Here's what I'll be looking for in tomorrow's preseason opener

Tim's picture

The Cowboys play their first preseason game tomorrow against the Raiders. Here are a few things I'll be watching closely (even though I don't expect to learn much from some of them):

Offensive Line: With Costa now hurt, along with Kowalski and Nagy, I don't even know who will be playing Center. I know Dallas is bringing in Jamaal Jackson, who seems like he might be a good signing, but he won't play tomorrow. The OG position is banged up, too, so we won't see starters except for Free and Smith. So it's the tackles we'll have to watch, and try to get a feel for how well they've adjusted to the switch from right to left. We already know Free can play on the right side, of course, after his extended time there in 2009.

Wide Receiver: It looks like neither Bryant nor Austin will play, so we should get a good long look at all the others. I'll try to track all of them, but I especially want to know if Kevin Ogletree will ever live up to the potential we all thought he had three years ago. It seems to me he needs to be a Preseason Pro-Bowler this year to change my mind about him. I'm also very interested to see Cole Beasley after all I've read about him.

Linebacker: You know which one: Bruce Carter.

Secondary: We won't likely see Claiborne, but I want to see our high dollar free agent in action. Also want to see Barry Church – not that we haven't seen him before, but they say he has lost about seven pounds, and is improved in coverage. Show me, Barry.

That's my short list. What's yours?

Tim
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I was just about to add that update on Jackson. That's disappointing - he's a veteran adn only 32, I believe. I wonder if they told him to go home and get in shape, and maybe they will look at him again after the season starts, when there is less risk to the team in signing him (a la Laurent Robinson.)
 
We should get a long look at all the WRs. Dez is traveling with the team, but I'd be surprised if they risk him in this game.
 
Also interested in Vickers at FB...
 

philyew3
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Apparently, they opted not to sign Jamaal Jackson, who was said to out of shape. With Arkin making the snaps, I'm most of all looking to see the QBs come through the game unscathed, as reports are that Arkin's performance at the position so far has been, shall we say, Pop Warner. The OL situation is such an unknown and will, again, determine how well this team can perform. 
Like you, I'm interested to see who steps up into the #3 spot at WR. Nothing so far suggests that we will see both starters consistently on the field all year. Hamstring problems already indicate more same-old-same old, so we will be needing not only a solid #3, but someone capable of being an impact starter when called upon.