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Friday, August 23, 2013
Cowboys ready for everything from Bengals

By Todd Archer

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys’ starters will play more Saturday than in any of the four other preseason games, and Jason Garrett knows what to expect from the Cincinnati defense: a lot of pressure.

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Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, the former Cowboys assistant, won’t have his full complement of players but that doesn’t mean he will back down.

“Zim’s an aggressive, competitive guy," Garrett said. "He brought it all in the first preseason games. That’s just his nature. He’s brought it all since I’ve known him. That’s what makes Zim great. You’ve got to be ready for that stuff.”

The Cowboys saw some of that aggressiveness during last year’s regular-season meeting at Paul Brown Stadium, which they won 20-19. Tony Romo completed only 58.1 percent of his passes and was sacked three times.

The Cowboys will not have a full game plan, but it will be the most involved of the preseason.

“You have to be ready for anything,” Garrett said. “One of the things we believe in is hopefully you’ve structured your offensive and defensive systems in such a way that you don’t have to game plan. You can kind of go by your rules to handle all of the different things you may or may not see. So hopefully we will be able to do that as a football team."

Sean Lee, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, Brandon Carr and Bruce Carter have seen sparse action in their first two preseason appearances.

“[The Bengals are] a good football team,” Lee said. “They’re a playoff-caliber team. We had a really tough game against them last year, so we know it’s going to be a tough challenge and we’re going to have to be ready for it.”