Skip to main content

Coaches To Be Conservative With Starters Sunday?


FRISCO, Texas – Strictly speaking, the Cowboys haven't made any determinations about playing time against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is famously tight-lipped about that topic, and this week has been no different.

That said, this team's injuries might make it possible to read between the lines. After all, Zack Martin is missing with a knee injury, and Travis Frederick is absent after his diagnosis with Guillain–Barré Syndrome earlier this week.

On top of that, La'el Collins and Tyron Smith both sat out of practice on Friday, as the two veterans are dealing with leg injuries.

So, with so many key players unlikely to play against the Cardinals, is it possible the Cowboys could be cautious with the rest of their starters, like Dak Prescott? Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones seems to think so.

"I think we've got to weigh it all," Jones said on Friday. "I don't think we've completely decided yet, and that is Jason's call by the way. But I think we'll be pretty conservative here."

That's a pretty vague description, but there has been ample talk about being smart with playing time this week. Ezekiel Elliott has yet to appear in the preseason, and Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones pointed out on Wednesday that the rest of the offensive starters got a heavy workload last week against Cincinnati.

"First of all, you know, they ended up getting more than we thought last week. I think we were planning on about 20 plays and they were 13 into it and they decided to go on a 16-play, seven and a half minute drive, which ended up at about 30 plays," Stephen Jones said.

"think that first group ended up with a good finish, a lot of confidence. We will make decisions based on that. If we don't' have Travis and Zack out there, then obviously that exposes you a little more."

It might be too soon to say for sure, but it sounds like the Cowboys are going to be mindful of their veterans' snap counts.