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Saturday, September 7, 2013
Is conditioning a Week 1 issue to note?

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – After all the time teams spend at training camp, you would think conditioning would not be an issue for Week 1 of the season, but it is.

Numerous Dallas Cowboys players have taken intravenous fluids after practices this week, with on-field temperatures in the 90s. More planned to take preventative IVs after Friday’s practice to help keep any cramping issues away Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.

"You’re always trying to get your team ready to play the game," coach Jason Garrett said. "You want to be mentally ready, emotionally ready and certainly physically ready and part of being physically ready is your condition. … They haven’t played a full game yet. What you try to do in practice is create game-type situations. You try to ramp up the reps as the preseason goes on to get them more and more game ready and ready to roll, and you’re always balancing that with exposing them too much in the preseason to potential injury and all that.

"You try to get them ready in all phases. Conditioning is a part of it, and hopefully we’re ready to roll."

Of the 11 projected defensive starters for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, George Selvie played the most snaps in the five preseason games (88). Morris Claiborne did not take a snap because of a knee injury. DeMarcus Ware played only 39 snaps in three preseason games. Jason Hatcher played 33. Sean Lee played 50. Bruce Carter played 60, as did Brandon Carr, Will Allen and Barry Church.

Garrett said the team will discuss whether the roof will be open or closed before kickoff with the heat.

"You really don’t think about getting tired," Hatcher said. "For the most part you’re just trying to get to the football. It’s going to be tough for a minute, but I’m built for it. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m just going to go out there and when I get tired I trust that the other guys coming in that they’re going to do the job just like me."