Saturday, August 28, 2010
Cowboys-Texans: Welcome to Reliant
By Calvin Watkins
HOUSTON -- The Cowboys are back in Texas after spending nearly two weeks in Southern California to finish training camp.
Tonight, the Cowboys (2-1) face the Texans (0-2) in their fourth preseason game of the year. Here's what's going on in the battle for the Governor's Cup.
Cowboys update: The Cowboys expect to play their starters for at least a half and the first-team offense will be closely watched. Its scored only one touchdown, coming last week at San Diego. While the Cowboys are working with a limited offense, there are some expectations to produce points. There are a few roster spots available, including veterans Pat Watkins and Sam Hurd playing for their jobs with a few rookies, Barry Church and Danny McCray in the mix for them.
Injuries: Dez Bryant (ankle), Kyle Kosier (knee), Marcus Spears (knee), Gerald Sensabaugh (shoulder), Keith Brooking (shoulder), Marc Colombo (knee) will not play this evening.
Players to watch: David Buehler didn't kick last week and he's got two more opportunities to prove himself in the preseason. It appears he will get the job, but coach Wade Phillips has not yet given his stamp of approval.
Texans update: Like the Cowboys, the Texans will use the first-team offense a lot in the first half tonight. Matt Schaub and his high-powered offense has scored just 36 points this summer, third fewest in the AFC. Last year, the Texans scored a franchise-best 388 points. The Texans have a kicking battle brewing between Kris Brown and Neil Rackers. Neither one has missed a kick this preseason. Brown was the only kicker last year until problems surfaced, forcing coach Gary Kubiak to look elsewhere.
Player to watch: Steve Slaton has struggled, averaging 2.7 yards per carry, and that's not acceptable for the Texans. With the offense having some issues, Slaton will get a few more chances to produce.
Scouts: The following teams were scheduled to send scouts/personnel people to the game: Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Texans not expected to play: Andre Davis, Trindon Holliday, BenTate, Xavier Adibi, Owen Daniels (Active PUP) and Anthony Hill (Active PUP).
Officials: Walt Anderson (referee), Bill Schuster (umpire), Phillip McKinnely (head linesman), Byron Boston (line judge), Jimmy Buchanan (field judge), James Coleman (side judge), Billy Smith (back judge), Dale Hamer (replay).
Pregame note: Bryant was running routes before the game. He wasn't running hard, but he was doing some things and looked pretty good. He's getting closer to returning, maybe for a few plays in the last preseason game vs. Miami.