GAME PREVIEW: DALLAS AT MINNESOTA

Cowboys (2-1) vs. Vikings (1-2), Thursday, August 30, 7:00 PM CT, CBS 11

Pre-Season Week 4 Preview:

Both the Cowboys and Vikings will play their final pre-season game when the two teams battle at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Cowboys are coming off a somewhat humiliating 28-16 loss to the Texans while the Vikings lost to the Seahawks 30-13 in their last game.

The two teams met in the pre-season finale last year at Texas Stadium.  The game ended in a 10-10 tie.  Something tells me that it won’t be happening this year.

Since there are some position battle yet to be determined, you should only expect to see most of the Cowboys starters in for only a series or two, if that.  Expect all of the starters that have been injured for most of or all of pre-season to sit out this game too, giving more younger guys to opportunity to make an impression on the team.

"I’m looking forward to this ballgame to end the preseason," Phillips said. "I think we certainly need it. We have a lot of evaluation to do. We do have a lot of guys to look at. I am worried about our roster overall – who fits where and who our best players are."

"Really, the only way to tell is to play in a ballgame. You can evaluate them in practice certainly and their character and work habits are important and a factor. But, still, the determining factor is how well they play in a game. We’ve got to give a lot of guys an opportunity to play in a game, so they can show us what they can or can’t do."

There are two homecomings in this game.  Brad Johnson spent nine years with the Vikings in Minnesota while Marion Barber III was a standout at the University of Minnesota and all-state performer from Wayzata High School in Minnesota.  Both players have ignored the hype and downplayed the situation. 

Martin Gramatica has a hamstring injury that will likely keep him off the field for tonight’s game.  That will give rookie kicker Nick Folk to opportunity to prove that he belongs on this team.  Gramatica says that he should be ready for the season opener if he makes the roster.

It will also be very interesting watching the battles at cornerback and fullback in the game against the Vikings as well. 

Hopefully these positions will be filled by the time that the Cowboys cut their roster down to the standard 53 players by Saturday, but if not maybe other teams players could help us. 

If there’s one thing that I really want out of this game, it wouldn’t be the win, although it would be nice, but hopefully for everyone to get out of the game injury free.  There have been a lot of costly injuries to teams this pre-season.