Random thoughts on the Cowboys

September, 3, 2010
9/03/10
9:44
AM ET
The preseason is over with. Thank goodness. We look at five things regarding Dallas' favorite football team.

1. The reasons to release or trade Patrick Crayton are many. Is it a right decision? No. The Cowboys need a trusted wide receiver with a proven track record on the roster and will not have any if Crayton is not part of the 53. You could say Miles Austin is a Pro Bowl wide receiver and you would be right in that thought process. However, Austin emerged onto the scene last year. He doesn't have a track record. Roy E. Williams has been bad since he's put on a Cowboys uniform and we're not even sure if he will have a good year this year. Kevin Ogletree and Dez Bryant are young players trying to find their way and Bryant, a rookie, had only two weeks of training camp. Crayton is a dependable player and losing him will hurt.

2. Worried about Sean Lee not becoming the nickel linebacker? Yes, you should be, but it's not the end of the world. At some point Lee is going to be an everydown player, maybe in place of Bradie James or Keith Brooking. For now, Lee will get some snaps with the first-team defense, but not enough to have an impact. Lee's efforts will come later in the season.

3. The Cowboys have one of those schedules that will make you forget how bad they were in the preseason. Dallas has a chance to go 3-0 before the bye week because the Cowboys have more talent than their three opponents. Washington, the Week 1 team, has problems. One scout told me he's not sure who the Redskins' starting wide receivers are reports out of D.C. has Albert Haynesworth inactive for Week 1. Chicago, the second opponent, has the great Jay Cutler. Over/under on how many picks Cutler will throw at Cowboys Stadium? I think two. The third opponent is the Houston Texans, who are a big tease. The Texans say this is supposed to be their year to beat the Colts and win the AFC South. If that fails at least the Texans can reach the postseason. Sure.

4. Jason Garrett spent some time with reporters late Thursday night talking about Stephen McGee. Garrett said McGee came out with a little attitude like he wanted to show everybody he can play. Garrett even said McGee had a little attitude with him on the sidelines. Garrett liked that because quarterbacks need a hard edge sometimes.

5. It's not so much the running backs I'm worried about. It's the offensive line. Leonard Davis doesn't move around as quick as he used too, Kyle Kosier and Marc Colombo are coming back from injuries and Andre Gurode has struggled. Doug Free has played pretty well in the preseason, but the Cowboys need to find more consistency from this group if the running attack is going to get moving once the games start becoming for real next Sunday.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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