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Final Thoughts: Figuring Out The D-Line Rotation, Scandrick's Availability; More

FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys' inability to win at AT&T Stadium has been a persistent theme throughout this week.

That's understandable, considering that this team last won a game at home during Week 1 of 2015, and is 0-9 in the time since.

I don't deal much with the intangibles, such as home field advantage or the nuances of playing on the road. I'm much more interested in what goes on in between the white lines. And, from a pure matchup standpoint, the Cowboys have a great opportunity to get into the win column on Sunday night.

Here's my final notebook ahead of Week 3:

  • I fully expect that we will see Tyrone Crawford make the start at left defensive end in this game. The question will be whether Jack Crawford starts on the right side, or will it once again be Benson Mayowa? My gut feeling is that it will be Mayowa with Crawford backing up both sides. Look for Terrell McClain and Maliek Collins at the tackle spots.
  • It could come down to a coin toss who starts the game at Mike linebacker on Sunday. Coaches have been getting both Anthony Hitchens and Justin Durant ready. Durant was the better player last week against the Redskins and has been working his way back into football shape. By all indications, I think Durant is ready to go.
  • Doug Free has worked his way into practice gradually this week after being limited by a quad injury early on. Scott Linehan told the media on Thursday that the offense used several different combinations on the right side while Free was out. The one that makes the most sense to me is to kick Zack Martin outside and put Ronald Leary in at guard. I just feel like Martin would struggle less with the technique of the position over La'el Collins – plus, he already plays on that right side.
  • I could see the Cowboys' medical staff making the call to not play Orlando Scandrick in this game on Sunday. Mentally, he is in a bad place dealing with soreness in his legs, and putting him out there risks further problems for the big picture. Rookie corner Anthony Brown should be well familiar with the nickel spot by now, having played there since training camp. I think they can count on him if he's called upon.
  • If Scandrick winds up on the inactive list for Sunday, look for Ryan Davis to take his spot on the game day roster. Davis can rush from either side, but he will most likely come from the left side behind Tyrone Crawford.
  • Terrance Williams received no targets his direction last week against the Redskins, which was surprising. I count two good opportunities in the game where he was open with a chance, but the rest of the game -- he just wasn't as good. If the Bears try and lock Dez Bryant down, Williams is my bet to see his share of passes. I was told that he had a nice week of practice and looked like he was getting back into the swing of things and could be a factor in the outcome.
  • One of the few criticisms you've seen of Dak Prescott is that he's been very cautious in the chances he's taking in the passing game. With the Bears defense gearing up to stop the run, maybe this is the game where we see him take some shots down the field on some vertical routes. Prescott has done a quality job of working underneath and intermediate with Dez Bryant, but nothing long. He has the arm talent to make those throws, especially if there is no help in the middle of the field. 
  • My Weekly guess at the inactives: QB Tony Romo, CB Orlando Scandrick, RB Darius Jackson, S Kavon Frazier, LB Mark Nzeocha, OG Ronald Leary and DE Charles Tapper.


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