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August 10, 2011

Despite unusual year off the field, expect business as usual in preseason

Despite this year being different, with the four-month lockout having eliminated the off-season, the preseason will be the same for the Cowboys.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the starters will play a series or two – likely 8-12 plays on offense – in the exhibition opener.

“The starters will play similar to what they’ve done in previous preseasons,” Garrett said Wednesday. “We don’t put a particular play number or drive number on it, but we’d like to get the first units out there and have a good couple of first drives, play eight, 10, 12 whatever it is plays where we feel good about it, and then get the second guys in there and see them work.”

The Cowboys played five preseason games in 2010, including the Hall of Fame Game. But two years ago against Oakland, the Cowboys’ first-team offense opened the four-game preseason with 12 plays in two drives. They had a three-and-out against the Raiders before going 71 yards on nine plays for a touchdown.

Some of the Cowboys’ younger players, such as Tyron Smith and David Arkin, will play longer than other starters Thursday night.

“It’ll be on an individual basis, but we anticipate them playing a little bit more,” Garrett said.

--Charean Williams


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