Cowboys Preseason Week 1 Preview

Derek MajorCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 02:  Steve Smith #12 of the New York Giants scores a touchdown as Orlando Scandrick #32 of the Dallas Cowboys defends during their game on November 2, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tomorrow the Cowboys start their preseason against the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys camp has been very quiet with all the big personalities gone but for those who haven't seen any live action this will your first chance to see how the Cowboys have benefited from this new approach.


Offense: Expect the starters to play a series or two but nothing more than that. All Wade Phillips and his staff want to see is some chemistry form the first group. Everyone will be watching to see Tony Romo and Roy Williams can put it together in a live game.

It'll also be interesting to see how many reps Felix Jones gets after missing practice earlier in the week with stiffness in his surgically repaired toe. I'm watching to see if Offensive Coordinator Jason Garret uses his new two tight end set with the first string group.

After the starters get off the field Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee will be the most watched on the offense. Kitna will have to prove to fans that he's capable of holding the fort if Romo gets hurt, because his resume doesn't speak well although you have to cut him some slack considering what he was working with in Detroit.

McGee will probably play in the second half and although he probably won't see any action this season, he'll see some during the first couple preseason games and give people who aren't big on college football a look at him. McGee will most likely work with the backup receiver and there's a competition for the fifth receiver spot between Mike Jefferson, Kevin Olgetree and reality show winner Jesse Holley.


Defense: Phillips has already said that Terrence Newman and Mike Jenkins won't travel with the team so they're not playing. That means Orlando Scandrick and Courtney Brown will start but expect reserves Mike Mickens, Alan Ball and DeAngelo Smith who's played both corner and safety in camp to see a ton of action. Scandrick has a chance here to distance himself from Jenkins in the battle to play opposite Newman.

Anthony Spencer will also be looked at as people want to know if he can play across form DeMarcus Ware and produce. He's been fantastic so for in camp but that may not necessarily translate into games. Another player that will be under the microscope is Bobby Carpenter, as this could be his last chance to prove he deserves some real playing time and if he doesn't prove he can be the guy in the Nickel and Dime formations you'll see Keith Brooking there during the season.

As for the defensive line Igor Olshanky will be looked at as he's the new guy, but he was with Phillips in San Diego so he shouldn't be confused at all. Derreck Robinson and Junior Savii, who's been out of football the last three seasons, should get action late in the game.


This game will be mainly for the backups as the coaches want to get a good look at the guys who aren't guaranteed a spot on the roster. Although it's just the first preseason game I'd still check most of it out as you want to get familiar with the new guys and long shots and just to know that football is coming soon, especially the way the Texas Rangers have played in the last week.