OXNARD, Calif. -- The Cowboys are just days away from their first preseason game of the year. We preview the preparations.
Tony Romo is sharp: According to sharp as a whip Todd Archer, quarterback Tony Romo has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes during training camp. Pretty good? Very good. Romo has thrown a sharp, crisp ball during practices and is moving well around the pocket when pressured. At the start of camp, there were questions about Romo's conditioning, specifically his weight. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo was about a pound over his playing weight. Looks like Romo is fine as evident by his movements around the pocket and the type of throws he's making. One nit pick and it might not be Romo's fault, the Cowboys don't throw enough passes downfield in practices. Is that Romo? Is that playcalling?
The starting guards are ...: Kevin Kowalski is out two-to-four weeks with a bruised knee, so take him out of the starting guard mix. Mackenzy Bernadeau is out of the race as well, he'll need another week before he returns from a hamstring strain. So, who starts Sunday against the Miami Dolphins? Nate Livings and Ronald Leary are competing for the left guard spot and David Arkin has taken over the right guard spot with Bernadeau and Kowalski out with injuries. Leary might have a slight edge over Livings.
Will Dez Bryant practice again?: The Cowboys' wide receiver missed the last four days of practices with hip/quad soreness. The team isn't concerned and hasn't ordered a MRI for further evaluations. Yet, Bryant wants to practice, for that matter, he wants to play in the preseason opener. Bryant would need to practice at least once over the next two days for that to happen. If Bryant doesn't practice Thursday it could raise concerns about his health. Are the Cowboys being overly cautious?
Defensive line depth: The Cowboys' issues along the defensive line are major. The team has signed three defensive linemen this camp because of five injuries to the unit. Toby Jackson, a defensive end from the University of Central Florida, will be the latest to wear the blue jersey for Thursday's practice. Landon Cohen and George Selvie, the two previous signings, looked good in the few practices they've participated in.
Who to watch: Practice is 4 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. CT and if you attend the session watch the line play. Not so much about what DeMarcus Ware and Tyron Smith are doing, but which guard impresses you and whether or not, you, as a fan, should be worried about the defensive line. Rookie Terrance Williams is getting better as a wide receiver and is securing his spot as the No. 3 receiver. After two touchdown runs in a goal-line scrimmage on Tuesday, rookie running back Joseph Randle could get more carries with the first-and-second teams. It's not because Phillip Tanner or Lance Dunbar have struggled, they haven't, it's just that the Cowboys like what Randle brings.