Rookie free agent Phil Costa could get his first start this week, but only because the two players in front of him -- Kyle Kosier and Montrae Holland -- are injured. The Cowboys are not throwing in the towel, so they're not ready to throw their young players onto the field just to get them experience.
"I think we should use everything we’ve got on every play to win every down," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "It’s important to this team every time we get a chance to win within the context of the game or in the context of the possession. We would not, in any way, compromise a chance to win the game by playing a player to evaluate or to give him experience."
For now, backup quarterback Stephen McGee will be just that, and other young players like Sam Young and Sean Lee will continue to bide their time as backups unless there are injuries. Rookie defensive end Sean Lissemore could play for the first time this week as a replacement for Jason Hatcher. Lissemore was working on the first-team kickoff team Thursday. Rookie safety Barry Church could get more playing time if Terence Newman's injury forces safety Alan Ball to play cornerback.
But barring injury, the starters will continue to be just that, and young players will not play for the sake of playing. At least not until the Cowboys officially are eliminated from contention.
"You don’t do anything but try to win the game. I’m emphatic about that," Jones said. "We will get enough opportunity, usually through injury, to see the [young] players. We’re getting to look at several of our young players, that’s happening to us right now."
-- Charean Williams