Preseason games can be dull since the games don't count, but if you know what to look for they can be pretty interesting. The first preseason game usually doesn't showcase the starters on either side of the ball for too long. With all of the young players vying for roster spots it will still be fun to watch. I am excited to see several of the young players show what they can do in a game situation. Here are the guys I'll be watching and why.
Isaiah Stanback: This story is well documented at this point. It is put up or shut up for Stanback. He needs to prove he is worth keeping around. He needs to play great and stay healthy for the rest of camp or he'll be cut and he knows it.
Kevin Ogletree: I keep hearing the reports of how good he is playing. I saw it with my own eyes at training camp, but games tend to bring out the best (or worst) in players. Let's see what he can really do when it counts...sort of.
Mike Mickens: When I saw him early in training camp he looked terrible. Over the last week he has picked up his game and is making plays. He is going to get a lot of playing time with Jenkins and Newman out. Let's see if he was a draft steal or a wasted pick.
Michael Hamlin: He is probably going to end up as a starting safety one day. I want to see if he can make the plays he has been making in practice against a real opponent.
Alan Ball: He looked great when it counted against Tampa Bay last season but he hasn't been on the field much since then. He is going to play some cornerback in this game and I am excited that he is getting a chance to prove himself again.
David Buehler: He was primarily brought in to kickoff. Let's see if he can force as many touchbacks as we are all hoping he can.
Jesse Holley: The 4th & Long series makes this guy interesting. I am pulling for him but he really needs to shine to make the team.
Jason Williams: Will he look lost playing linebacker? We know he is an athletic freak but I want to see if he is picking up the techniques he needs to get on the field this year.
Brandon Williams: Bring on the pass rush. The Cowboys need all the help they can get when it comes to depth at outside linebacker.
Victor Butler: See Brandon Williams.
DeAngelo Smith: The media reports say he is struggling to adapt to playing safety. Maybe a game will bring out the best in him. I really want to see if he is a dynamic punt returner more than anything else.
Junior Siavii/Tim Anderson/Marcus Dixon: Are any of them good enough to be counted on as the backup defensive tackle?
Miles Austin: Will he outperform Sam Hurd? So far Hurd seems to have the advantage in their battle but a strong performance will probably give him the edge.
Sam Hurd: Can he carry his practice performance into a game? He was starting to emerge last preseason before he injured his ankle. Maybe he will break out this season.
Bobby Carpenter: He appears to have the nickel linebacker job locked up, but Wade Phillips needs to see that Bobby can get the job done in a game situation.