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Mailbag: Is it important to win in preseason?


How important is it to win games in the preseason? Obviously, evaluating talent and staying healthy are the priorities, but does winning in the preseason help build confidence and momentum going into when the games count for real? Rob Fellows/Midland, TX

Nick Eatman: Absolutely irrelevant. It's nice for the fans to watch the games and obviously you want your team to win. But if they don't, it doesn't matter. If they do win, doesn't matter. You have to remember that these games will have rosters that include 85-90 players. To think the Week 1 roster has just 53, that means about 40 percent of the guys that are winning or losing these preseason games, won't be around when the games start to count for real. Just go back and look at the last few years. In 2021, the Cowboys were 12-5 and had a great team. They were 0-4 in the preseason. The 2018 team needed to get Amari Cooper in the middle of the year, but that squad was 10-6, after also finishing 0-4. The year Dak took over and led them to a 13-3 record in 2016, the Cowboys were 1-3. We all remember the game Dak started in LA and played lights out, or even two weeks later when he stepped in for Romo. Those were positive memories - but the Cowboys lost both games. Does anyone remember? Clearly that team didn't even remember or care. Just show some progress with the guys who are going to play, stay healthy and get ready for the regular season.

Mickey: If winning these preseason games were so important then teams would play their starters in all three games. The Cowboys will play very few of their starters in Saturday's preseason opener against Jacksonville. And with a salary cap hovering overhead, no one wants to lose star players in meaningless preseason games to injury. And as for creating momentum, let me remind you of the Cowboys going 3-1 during the 1989 preseason, the first for Jimmy and Jerry. They finished the regular season 1-15. These games really are about who has the best backups.

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