That's right...time to bring back this in-season feature. And what better way than with our
enemies neighbors to the north in Southern Oklahoma Dallas? Dave Halprin over at BTB was kind enough to take the time to answer three (3) pre-game queries as our respective squads ready to face off tomorrow night. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
1. There's been a fair amount of talk about the Cowboys' offense struggling in the preseason. What do you attribute that to, and does it worry you at all?
BTB: It's true that the Cowboys offense hasn't been performing all that well so far in the preseason. We've had times when we've moved the ball well between the 20s, but the redzone and scoring have been an issue. This isn't new by the way; last year we had similar issues scoring; our ability to gain yards was prolific, but we stumbled in the redzone. One aspect that's been a problem in the preseason is the running game; it's basically been non-existent. That part is worrisome for sure. Our offensive line should be a great run-blocking unit with their size but it really hasn't played out that way. We've got quality backs so the blame is mostly centered on the o-line. They just aren't opening the holes.The passing game has been a little out of sync but I feel that's correctable and will be OK once the regular season gets going. But I would like to see some production out of the running game in these last couple of games.
2. What position battles and/or players should Texans fans keep an eye on Saturday night?
BTB: Our starting lineup is pretty much set, except for some positions along the offensive line where we have injuries. LG Kyle Kosier and RT Marc Colombo might miss the first couple of regular season games. Alex Barron is going to get a shot at RT on Saturday, but he's spent a lot of training camp injured, so we're anxious to see how he performs. Montrae Holland will be filling in at LG. Also, starting SS Gerald Sensabaugh is out, so second-year player Mike Hamlin is going to get the start and he's also coming off of injury in training camp. All eyes will be on those positions to see how the guys perform because they all might need to fill in for the first couple of regular season games.
3. What do you expect out of Dez Bryant this season? Besides refusing to abide by the timeless tradition of rookie hazing, I mean?
BTB: We have big expectations for Dez Bryant. Before he got hurt, he was having a great training camp. He was catching everything thrown his way and he is a great 'yards-after-catch' receiver. He should be ready for the regular season and will work behind Miles Austin and Roy Williams to start off, although many expect him to replace Roy Williams eventually (but not this season). It's possible that he'll also be used as the punt returner during the season, but we're not sure of that yet. Rookie wide receivers usually take a while to make their mark but we think that at some point this year he'll be fully integrated into the offense and be productive. There's not much not to like about his game, and with the Cowboys passing offense being one of the better in the league, he should get plenty of chances.
Big thanks to Dave for allowing us to pick his brain. If you're interested to see what I had to say in response to his questions, click here.