effectively play outside linebacker in Ellis' place?
Can Scandrick or Jenkins (and possibly both, if Terence Newman misses any time) be full-time starters at corner in their second seasons? What about the rookie Bearcat backups, DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens?
Can Martellus Bennett, Miles Austin and Sam Hurd translate their strong camps into game production as part of the post-T.O. offensive makeover?
Can Doug Free prove to be a reliable backup behind Flozell Adams at left tackle?
Can rookie David Beuhler's big kickoffs aid the coverages units as advertised?
All are fascinating topics that might take longer than preseason to answer. But Jerry Jones believes this younger, renovated roster might get better as the season gets older and the weather gets colder. When glancing at another difficult December schedule, late-season momentum will be imperative.
"When you go with less experience and more youth, you're betting that it's going to get even during the course of 20 games," Jones says.
The score won't matter much Thursday in Game 1. Individual performances and signs of progress certainly will.