Since Saturday's "dress rehearsal" game at Minnesota should be the last extensive look at the starters before the Sept. 11 season opener, here are three players to monitor closely:
WR Kevin Ogletree: Seems likely Miles Austin will rest his sore hamstring. If so, Ogletree will start opposite Dez Bryant – and it's the biggest opportunity of his three-year career. If Ogletree's going to earn that third receiver job, he can make a strong case with a strong performance against the Vikings. Let him play the entire game, past the starters' likely halftime or early third quarter exit, and see how he performs.
OLB Anthony Spencer: One can argue Spencer's the key to Rob Ryan accomplishing everything he wants with his aggressive scheme. DeMarcus Ware will produce, but an all-around effective Spencer is critical to the pass rush. The defense has done a little game-planning for Minnesota this week, so it'll be interesting to see how Spencer and the entire unit fares after some growing pains in the first two games.
OT Tyron Smith: Jared Allen, meet the Cowboys' ninth overall pick. Smith could face the Vikings' elite defensive end if Allen lines up some on the left side. Either way, Smith will be challenged by the Vikings' entire pass rush and the Metrodome noise (even for preseason). It's a good test for Smith, who has handled himself well in preseason.