Cowboys third-string quarterback Stephen McGee will probably start and play most of Thursday's exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins. Dallas also wants to look at Tom Brandstater.
The Cowboys hope this is the last they see of McGee this season.
McGee made his regular-season debut last season after both Tony Romo and Jon Kitna were injured. He replaced an injured Kitna in a Dec. 25 game against the Cardinals and then started and led the Cowboys to a victory in the season finale against the Eagles.
They hope to keep Romo in the lineup this season, with McGee returning to his role watching and learning with mental reps.
“This is my season," McGee said of Thursday night's exhibition game. "It’s kind of a short and sweet season. You never know given the situation over the course of the year. Last year it happened [where he played in the regular season]. But I definitely want to make the most of these opportunities, because they don’t come around very often.”
McGee led the Cowboys to a come-from-behind victory over the Dolphins in the preseason finale last year, completing 27 of 42 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown.
"It's a great opportunity; it'll be a lot of fun," McGee said. "It’s always fun. I remember last year’s game was a lot of fun. I just want to go out there and execute ball plays and play fast, get in and out of the huddle and handle all the situations well."
Backup quarterback Jon Kitna did not practice Monday or Tuesday. He has missed practices with a sore lower back. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said a decision has not been made about whether Kitna will play Thursday, but it is expected to be the McGee show. (Garrett said the Cowboys will "err on the side of caution in [Kitna's] situation.")
"We anticipate this being a big night for Stephen McGee like it’s been in the past," Garrett said. "That fourth preseason game is typically for the younger guys, and for the quarterback, it’s very valuable time. He’ll play most of it. We'd like to see Tom Brandstater again. He did a nice job the other night in the ball game."
Brandstater is a candidate for the practice squad.
-- Charean Williams