FRISCO, Texas – Two days before their customary 'dress rehearsal' preseason game, the Cowboys practiced only in shells, not pads, for the first time since July 25.
Thursday, as with its previous two preseason opponents, the team spent some time preparing for Saturday night's matchup with the Oakland Raiders.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has not revealed playing time for his roster, but typically the next-to-last preseason game offers the most extended work for the starters. Last Saturday against the Colts, most of the regulars got their first game action of preseason and played between two and four series.
Before practice, Garrett said he was leaning toward playing running back Ezekiel Elliott for the first time in preseason. Linebacker Sean Lee also continued to work in team drills and could make his preseason debut Saturday after missing time with a hamstring injury earlier in camp.
"I haven't talked to them yet, but I plan on playing. I play on being out there," Lee said. "I'm going to push to play as much as I can. I feel great. Physically I'm ready to go."
No matter how long the starters play, they don't expect a drop in intensity.
"It's a game," wide receiver Dez Bryant said. "When you put those pads on and a helmet, it's a game all day. You're getting yourself ready."
After playing Oakland, the Cowboys will finish preseason next Thursday, Aug. 31, at the Houston Texans. Final roster cut to 53 is Sept. 2.