Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was hurrying out of the locker room following Thursday's preseason finale in Miami. As he walked past Kenyon Coleman, he made a point to stop the veteran defensive end and said, "Hey, it's on now."
That's definitely right - the season is on. No more preseason. No more training camp practices. Come Saturday afternoon the roster will be trimmed to 53 and 100 percent of the focus will finally get placed on the Jets.
But before we can officially get there, shouldn't we figure out what hasn't been solved? There are issues that preseason is supposed to address and four games later, we haven't completely gotten there just yet.
So what don't we know about the 2011 Cowboys?
1. Kicker:Doesn't anyone want this job? What's scary is that even though there are four healthy kickers on the roster, none of them have separated themselves from the pack. How is it possible Shayne Graham can actually improve his chances of making the team by not kicking at all Thursday? But it happened that way because neither David Buehler or Dave Rayner could do anything.
With depth issues at tight end and receiver and maybe running back, you can't afford to keep two kickers. I say its one guy and if struggles you can always sign one of these guys because they're going to be available. If I just had to pick one, I'd go with Buehler. I'm a believer in theory that someone has to take your job. No, Buehler hasn't been great either, but someone has to step up and take it. And that hasn't happened yet.
2. WR Depth:The starters are set and no one could unseat Kevin Ogletree for the third spot, but after that its anyone's guess. The injury to Raymond Radway is devastating to him and probably forces the Cowboys to scan the waiver wire for some help. Rookie Dwayne Harris, who also suffered a mild concussion in Thursday's game, has done enough to make the team and he will. But this team doesn't have much after Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Maybe Manny Johnson will be kept early on but he's not the answer. Right now, the depth isn't a problem because the starters are, or at least will be healthy. But I can't imagine anyone within the organization is comfortable with this position. I'm not suggesting to beg Randy Moss out of retirement, but I think someone with some NFL experience is needed.
3. Swing Tackle:And who knows, maybe Jermey Parnell answered the questions by his performance Thursday night. He did play the entire game and seemed to be in control of the situation, although he certainly wasn't facing Miami's starters. Then again, he's not a starter either. The Cowboys are trying to find someone to back up both spots and it seems obvious that Parnell is ahead of Sam Young, a sixth-round pick in 2010. If the Cowboys stay in-house here, Parnell seems safe. But don't be surprised if this is another position the Cowboys bring in help from the outside. Again, maybe not a Flozell Adams but a four- or five-year vet who has some starts under his belt. Maybe this team needs a backup tackle the way Montrae Holland will likely be at guard.
Ok, those are my three. I could go to 10 probably and that's scary. There are lots of things we don't know. How this defense will play under Ryan? How the backup TE will play out with Martellus Bennett injured. And what about the running backs? Is DeMarco Murray good enough right now to make Tashard Choice expendable?
Tough questions to answer. But they better get answered quick. In less than 10 days, the Jets will be the opponent and as Ryan said ... "it's on."