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What to Know Going into Week 1 (Preseason Edition)

The Dallas Cowboys will play their first pre-season game of 2011 tonight at 8:30 p.m. against the Denver Broncos.  Many Cowboys fans across the nation will be unable to watch the game live; however, the NFL Network will rebroadcast the game Friday, August 12, 2011 at 11:30p.m.

The most recent injury report can be found at Dallas Morning News.

Pos. Player 



Andre Gurode


Placed on PUP list

LB Bruce Carter


Placed on non-football injury list

RB DeMarco Murray


About one week, placed on non-football injury list

RB Tashard Choice


About one week

LB Keith Brooking


About one week

WR Teddy Williams


Out indefinitely

K Kai Forbath


Placed on non-football injury list

CB Terence Newman


Five to six weeks

G Montrae Holland



CB Mike Jenkins


Limited but practicing

NT Jay Ratliff



WR Titus Ryan


Out indefinitely

Come the third and fourth quarter of the game, there will be few recognizable faces/numbers on the field.  Find the full Cowboys roster here.

What to watch for:

Romo’s first game action since breaking his clavicle against the NY Giants.  The expectation is he has returned to form.  In 2010, he was playing exceptionally well even though much of the surrounding cast was wildly mediocre.  At times Romo appeared to be the only Cowboy playing with passion and fire.

Rob Ryan’s scheme and mental mistakes.  The Cowboys defensive players indicated they preferred Wade Phillips scheme over Bill Parcells because they did not have to think and rather could simply go out and play.  Wade Phillips had to “dumb” down his scheme to minimize the mental mistakes that were abundant.  The Cowboys defensive players are talented,  but many have questionable intelligence and response time that is required for a more complex defensive scheme.  Without question, the biggest concern with Ryan returning the Cowboys defense to form will be whether the players are smart enough to handle the new scheme.

Tim Tebow.  Tebow is one of the greatest hyped players in a generation.  Has his throwing motion improved?  Is he making full reads and throwing to his 3rd and 4th options, or is risking injury by needlessly scrambling?

Defensive points allowed.   The Cowboys and Broncos were two of the worst defenses in 2010.  Exit Wade Phillips and Don Martindale – enter Rob Ryan and John Fox to lead the defenses back into respectability.

Dez Bryant v. Demarious Thomas:  Thomas was selected higher than Bryant because he is a high character guy.  Bryant is an electrifying talent who has shown questionable character in matters of minutia.  While Bryant is not perfect, his reputation is worse than the reality.

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