Here are a few tidbits from Wade Phillips press conference today.
* Rookie linebacker Jason Williams is out six weeks with a high ankle sprain.
* Rookie quarterback Stephen McGee will not play in the preseason final against the Vikings because he is still bothered by a knee injury. However look for McGee to still make the roster. The Cowboys are not cutting their fourth round pick even though he struggled in training camp and missed much of the preseason.
* Receiver Roy Williams will not play against the Vikings but should be ready for the season opener.
* The Cowboys rookie draft class has been decimated by injuries. No one thought much of the group on draft day when it was dubbed a special teams draft after the Cowboys didn't make a pick until the third round. But any chance of the class making an impression has been setback by injuries.
Robert Brewster and Brandon Williams out for the season with injuries. Jason Williams and safety Ken Hamlin will miss at least six weeks because of injuries. McGee is out the rest of the preseason with a knee injury and linebacker Stephen Hodge has been bothered by a knee injury since minicamp. He faces a a make or break game against the Vikings.
Cornerback Mike Mickens has not looked good and could be cut. Safety DeAngelo Smith has likely secured a spot as a backup safety. Linebacker Victor Butler is the primary backup at outside linebacker. The best player has been kicker David Buehler who has upgraded the kickoff unit.
Receiver Manual Johnson has been the least impressive and will be hard pressed to make the team.
*Wade Phillips said he is pleased with play of the first team offense as it has dominated play when its been on the field this preseason. The only draw back is that the Cowboys have left points on the field and they have failed to make the big play.
Said Wade Phillips: "As far as our first group, I’ve looked at it all along. You know, I think we’re playing pretty well. The first game we had two series offensively and had seven first downs and a touchdown drive. You have to go against basically what the first team is doing against the other team’s first team. So anyway, we had a good drive there. We had an interference penalty on defense that put us in bad shape, but gave up three points there in that ballgame. Tennessee game, we played a half with our first group. We had 17 first downs and 249 yards. They had four first downs and 78 yards. Then this last game we had 195 yards at the half and they had 102 and three points. Basically, the guys have kind of played the way we’d like them to play. There are certainly things we can clean up offensively and defensively. We’d like to have scored a few more times with all the yardage that we made offensively. Defensively, we’d like to shut them out. But I think they’ve progressed well in the preseason against what you have to measure, which is the other team and what they’re doing. "
* Tony Romo will probably not play against the Vikings so there won't be a showdown with him and his childhood hero Brett Favre.
* Receivers Roy Williams and Sam Hurd will also sit out the Vikings game for precautionary reasons. Both should be ready for the season opener.
* The Cowboys are not only preparing for the Vikings this week but they are also preparing for the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Clarence E. Hill Jr.