Pre-Season Game #2 – San Diego Chargers at Dallas Cowboys

Howdy Cowboys fans… The Silver and Blue will host the San Diego Chargers tonight at Cowboys Stadium in the second game of the preseason. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast nationally on NBC.

Updated Injury Report

Status Changed 

Pos. 

Player 

Injury 

Status 

WR 

Miles Austin 

Hamstring 

Out, day-to-day 

QB 

Jon Kitna 

Back 

Returned to practice  

Status Unchanged

David Buehler 

Hip 

Out indefinitely 

Montrae Holland 

Back 

Out, day-to-day 

RB 

DeMarco Murray 

Hamstring 

Non-football injury list 

RB 

Tashard Choice 

Calf 

Out, day-to-day 

LB 

Keith Brooking 

Hamstring 

Expected to practice Tuesday 

CB 

Mike Jenkins 

Neck 

Limited but practicing 

LB 

Bruce Carter 

Knee 

Non-football injury list 

WR 

Teddy Williams 

Hamstring 

Out indefinitely 

Kai Forbath 

Quadriceps 

Non-football injury list 

CB 

Terence Newman 

Groin 

Out four weeks 

What To Expect Tonight

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he expects the starters will receive more work in Sunday’s game with San Diego than they got in the preseason opener last week against Denver.

“They played a long series on each side of the ball against Denver and got into that eight-10-12-play mentality,” Garrett said. “We’ll probably go longer than that. I can’t guarantee you a play number, but we just anticipate them playing longer. Hopefully, they will go into the second quarter and double the snaps.”

Five Things To Look For In Preseason Game #2

Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Ledger with a good primer on what we should look for.

1. Scandrick’s starting bid

Orlando Scandrick has been the Cowboys’ nickel corner the past three seasons, but he’s in the last year of his contract and understands his future income will increase if he is considered a starting-caliber cornerback. Scandrick certainly sees this as another opportunity to prove he can be a starter on the outside next season, if not this year. Terence Newman will most likely not be brought back in 2012 because of age, injury history and his high salary.

2. A longer look at Romo & Co.

Quarterback Tony Romo and the regulars will play at least a quarter, if not more. It will be Romo’s longest stint since suffering a fractured clavicle last October, forcing him to miss the final 10 games of 2010. “I can’t guarantee you a play number or a time in the game when they’re coming out, but we anticipate them playing longer,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Hopefully into the second quarter, maybe double the snaps.”

3. Offensive line

Seventh-round pick Bill Nagy will get his turn at left guard in place of the injured Montrae Holland. (Fourth-round pick David Arkin got the start in the preseason opener.) The interesting thing is that Nagy was largely a reserve in college at Wisconsin, but now he is in a battle for a starting job with the Cowboys. The Chargers game will also serve as another test for rookie top pick Tyron Smith at right tackle.

4. Dan Bailey gets his shot

Incumbent kicker David Buehler is out tonight with a hip strain, giving rookie Dan Bailey a chance to get a leg up in the kicking competition. Bailey, who will handle all kicking duties tonight, has more than held his own against Buehler in training camp, and tonight he can put some real heat on Buehler.

5. The Rob Ryan defense

The Cowboys’ defense under the new coordinator didn’t get off to a good start in the preseason opener against the Broncos, who marched 74 yards on the opening drive against Dallas’ starters. The Cowboys will be helped by the return of nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who missed the preseason opener with a bad back. Ryan said he expects communication to improve dramatically, leading to better results against the Chargers and their potent passing attack.

Team Notes

Wide receiver Miles Austin missed his second straight practice Friday with a strained hamstring. Although the injury isn’t considered serious, he likely won’t play Sunday.

Defensive end Jason Hatcher was sidelined with a toe injury and is questionable for Sunday. Kicker David Buehler (sore hip) also didn’t participate and likely won’t play Sunday.

It’s been more than two weeks since a groin injury to Terence Newman vaulted Scandrick into the starting lineup. Although the jury is still out as to whether he’s proved once and for all that he’s more than just a slot corner, Scandrick appears to be on the right track to convincing the Cowboys he can play outside in the base package.

Wide receiver Dwayne Harris could be making a push to be the team’s third receiver as he continues to impress with his natural play-making abilities and and intsity on the field. Harris hauled in five passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the Cowboys’ preseason home opener against the Denver Broncos. 

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