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NFL Preseason Preview: Cowboys vs. Rams

The Cowboys will try to rebound after a tough loss to the San Diego Chargers last week by facing the St. Louis Rams at home this Saturday.

Dallas opened their preseason with a 3-0 victory over the Raiders in Oakland, but then fell to the Chargers 28-20 in California.

Four different quarterbacks saw action for the Cowboys in the loss. Tony Romo opened proceedings by completing 9-of-13 passes for 75 yards, before Kyle Orton stepped in and was 7-of-10 for 83 yards and an interception.

Then there was Stephen McGree (9-of-16 for 86 yards and an INT) and Rudy Carpenter (6-of-9 for 78 yards and a touchdown) who got some playing time as well.

Neither of the top two running backs for the Cowboys, DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, got much action. They combined for six carries and 22 yards.

This weekend Dallas is rightly favored to take care of business against St. Louis. The Cowboys opened as touchdown-favorites but now they’re favored by 5.5 points at most sportsbooks. As far as NFL picks go, the home team should be a good bet.

The reason why? The Rams are still young and inexperienced. Plus, they’ve yet to play a team as good as the Cowboys so far in the preseason. They’ve battled it out with Indianapolis and Kansas City, which hardly gives us a clear indication of what they’re capable.

Playing a strong and deep team in Dallas will be a much better test.

Even with Dez Bryant having off-and-on the field troubles and both Miles Austin and Jason Witten dealing with injuries, the Cowboys are going to be just fine heading into the regular season. They’ve strengthened their secondary considerably and should have one of the better defenses in the league now.

Hopefully for Jerry Jones’ team, that translates into victories.

Cowboys Updates

Miles Austin - The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has missed part of training camp and six games last season because of hamstring issues. And he likely won’t play in any of the Cowboys’ preseason games this year because of another hamstring injury. The good news for Austin is that there hasn’t been a setback, according to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Mike Jenkins - His surgically-repaired shoulder continues to improve but there is no timetable on when the Cowboys cornerback will be cleared to practice. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Thursday that Jenkins is gaining strength in his shoulder and getting better range of motion. However, his return can’t come until he meets with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the procedure. In regards to when that meeting might take place, Garrett said, “There have been discussions about establishing a date here over the next week or so.”

Jason Witten - The next step in Jason Witten’s recovery from a lacerated spleen will be a visit to a doctor Tuesday. “Hopefully, he can get an OK from that but this is all normal within the process of what we thought right from the outset,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Everything that has come back has been positive for him and we’re hopeful he can return sooner rather than later.”  The Cowboys have not put a timetable on a return for Witten but have not ruled him out of the Sept. 5 season opener at the New York Giants. He suffered the injury Aug. 13 at Oakland and went to the hospital the next day.