The Dallas Cowboys are about to play their second game in six days, but this time you can expect to see a little more from the veterans.
Tony Romo, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten and fellow starters will likely get a series, maybe two. Then it’ll be back to the backups and other hopefuls trying to turn enough heads to make the team.
With a full roster of 90 players, there are plenty of guys to be watching out for.
Doug Free, RT: Free has gotten a lot of praise for his improved play during training camp, and he was on the starting offensive line that ran the ball so well Sunday against Miami. This time, he’s going to be defending Romo, and he’s probably going to be playing a little bit longer than just five or six plays. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up with a larger sample size.
Sterling Moore, CB: Morris Claiborne looks like a scratch for this game, and the starters aren’t going to get a lot of playing time anyway. Moore has probably looked the best of the corners behind the trio of Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick. I expect he’ll see a lot of the field, and if he plays like he practices, he should do pretty well.
Dante Rosario, TE: While we’re still trying to figure out how the Cowboys are going to use these tight ends, it’s clear that some of them are getting work in the H-back role, especially with no fullback on the roster. Rosario has worked with the first-team offense around the goal-line. I’m anxious to see him in the backfield but also as a regular tight end. Witten, Hanna and Escobar all have a spot on this team it seems but I get the feeling Rosario is going to do enough where he’ll have to be included as well.
George Selvie, DE: Well someone has to say it. We probably all will be watching this guy to see if he can duplicate that stellar showing last week. And that’s really what the NFL is all about. Everyone can have a moment in the sun. But can you do it again? Another game like last Sunday for Selvie and he could easily be a guy that now fits into the rotation, perhaps even ahead of Kyle Wilber.
Lance Dunbar – The former North Texas running back got the first series in the Hall of Fame Game and not much else. It shows just how far he’s come, because he was treated like the No. 2 back and a valuable commodity behind DeMarco Murray. I expect to see more work for him this week. He’s said he sees himself as a complete back rather than a change of pace or specialty player. If he can run between the tackles for long gains and pass protect this week, he could receive a bigger workload when it matters.
Ernie Sims – With the addition of Justin Durant this year, the versatility of Alex Albright and selection of DeVonte Holloman, sometimes veteran Ernie Sims can be forgotten. He’s made sure that doesn’t happen much this camp. The 4-3 was always thought to be the better fit for Sims, and he looks quick in it during camp. He needs to have some of those types of plays translate to the game as well. I think he makes this team, but if he can stay around the ball in a game as he does in practice, it will help his cause.
Dwayne Harris – I didn’t think that Harris played all that well last week against the Dolphins overall and this surprised me because he had shown some nice things in camp before the game. The third down on the opening drive, on the slant play is a catch and conversion that he makes all day but it appeared like he stopped on the route and then tried to restart thus putting himself in a bad position for the ball. With Terrence Williams once again out for this game against Oakland, it’s another opportunity to show Derek Dooley what he can do if put in the mix. I expected a more productive and complete game from Harris this week to put pressure on Williams.
Nick Hayden – Through these last several weeks of practice and what I have observed in minicamp practices back in Dallas, that the defensive coaches have taken a likening to Hayden and his work so far this season. With Jay Ratliff out until the team returns home, Jason Hatcher has been playing the under tackle while Sean Lissemore and Hayden have been working at the nose. This week, the coaches have put Hayden with the first defense to see how he would be paired with Hatcher. The move is not because Lissemore has been terrible in anyway but more about finding rotational players inside for when Ratliff returns to the lineup. Hayden has shown plenty of ability so far in his opportunity but will he make this front office and coaching staff play him more than Lissemore? I am going to watch and find out.
GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards
View game stats and scores online while you watch or listen to the game. Click HERE to choose from a list of popular online game trackers.
GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Sounds of the game
Listen to the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Brad Sham on KRLD in Dallas.
GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Watch the game
To watch on TV tonight, tune to your local (Dallas market only) CBS station.
Note: This game is also showing up as being available on NFL Network.
Out of market? Click HERE to watch online (NFL Sunday Ticket)
GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Bookmark The Boys Are Back blog
The Boys Are Back blog | Read | Listen | Watch | Comment
Check back here for box scores, videos, pictures, highlights, resources, recaps, interesting articles, and Dallas Cowboys information all season long. Signup for email alerts, RSS feeds, or add The Boys Are Back to your favorites.
Enjoy the game!
GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders postgame coverage
Note: The show starts approximately 30 minutes after the game is over.
Let’s spread the word about The Boys Are Back blog! Please use the SHARE buttons below!
Technology can be a wonderful thing.
In the old days, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr would have missed the Monday birth of his son, Austin.
Carr had just returned to Los Angeles with teammates from the Hall of Fame Game when he received the word that his fiancée was in labor. He packed a bag and headed back to the airport. He was able to watch the birth on FaceTime.
“I saw everything I needed to see,” Carr said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (see below). “I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it.”
Carr spent two days with his family — he also has a daughter — before rejoining teammates at practice Thursday. He is expected to see some playing time against the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.
“No sleep at all, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Carr said. “It was a good feeling to be there and actually see your first son. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and bring it all in. The last two days have been good. It’s a blessed feeling.”
That’s good Dad Work right there.
RELATED: Brandon Carr returns to camp after welcome his first son, Austin
Brandon Carr hasn’t been in camp the past two days, but he is the player who is the most weary. He spent two days at home with his fiancée and his newborn son, Austin, who was born Monday.
“No sleep at all, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said the Cowboys cornerback, who returned to practice Thursday. “It was a good feeling to be there and actually see your first son. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and bring it all in. The last two days have been good. It’s a blessed feeling.”
Carr, who also has a daughter, Sidney, flew back with the team from the Hall of Fame Game, arriving at LAX early Monday morning. He packed a bag and headed back to the airport after getting news that his fiancée was in labor. He watched the birth on FaceTime.
“I saw everything I needed to see,” Carr said. “I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it.”
Now, he’s ready to play. The Cowboys starters are expected to play a series or two against the Raiders on Friday night.
“I’m ready to get it on,” Carr said. “I’m pretty fresh and ready to get out there and run around and get some action finally and get ready for the season.”