Does lackluster preseason mean anything for Cowboys offense?
Entering the season opener, there are a number of question marks about how the Redskins might look as they prepare to debut under new Coach Mike Shanahan with new schemes on both sides of the ball.
In Dallas, however, the questions surround just how much stock to put into a preseason in which the offense was less than impressive. In four preseason games, the Cowboys starting offense scored just one touchdown -- on an eight-yard drive -- and the offensive line allowed 16 sacks in five games, including five of starting quarterback Tony Romo.
For the opener, the Cowboys will be without two starting offensive linemen: right tackle Marc Colombo and left guard Kyle Kosier, both out with knee injuries. Veterans Alex Barron and Montrae Holland, both of whom have started in their careers, will replace Colombo and Kosier.
Barron started 74 of 76 career games with the St. Louis Rams since 2005 before signing with the Cowboys, while Holland has started 48 of 75 career games - though just two in the past two seasons. Holland was inactive for all 16 games with the Cowboys in 2009.
"Their back-ups pretty good; they all right," cornerback Carlos Rogers said. "Like Coach said, they plan to us we got to play our defense, what we do. Whoever is in there, we still gonna run our blitz [and] make their line move. They got a lot of big guys so we do a lot of stunting, a lot of different things on the line where they have to move their feet. We think that's an advantage to us no matter who is in there."
Several Redskins defensive veterans played down how the injuries might impact or change their outlook or schemes entering Sunday night.
The message in the locker room was clear: Despite the struggles of the Cowboys offense in preseason and even with the injuries along the offensive line, the Redskins would not be altering their game plan going into the primetime match-up.
"Regardless of whether they were starting the whole five or not I think the most important thing is this is the season opener, we have to set the tempo for the defense and just set the tempo in general just as an organization," linebacker Andre Carter said. "Regardless of who is playing it's just important we go out there and play four quarters of our game."
September 11, 2010; 6:19 AM ET
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