SAN ANTONIO -- There was a Dallas Cowboys caravan down Interstate-35 on Wednesday. Training camp in San Antonio is over.
But the Cowboys are only halfway home.
They begin two weeks of training camp in Arlington on Saturday.
"This is just a transition, man," Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears said. "I don't think any of us in our right mind think it's the end of camp. We don't break camp until late August.... So we've got to go back to Dallas, and we've got a lot of work to do."
The Cowboys are expected to be without five injured starters tonight in their preseason opener against the Denver Broncos at Cowboys Stadium. But they still will learn something about their team, namely how much work they have left.
Here are five storylines to watch:
1. Return of Romo and Dez
Tony Romo hasn't played since breaking his left clavicle in an Oct. 25 game against the New York Giants. He missed the last 10 games. Romo and Dez Bryant played only six games together, with Bryant catching 18 passes from Romo for 211 yards and a touchdown. Bryant was a candidate for offensive rookie of the year honors last season before breaking his right fibula while returning a kickoff in a Dec. 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
2. Blocking for Romo
The Cowboys released right tackle Marc Colombo and right guard Leonard Davis. First-round pick Tyron Smith is replacing Colombo, while veteran Montrae Holland was penciled in as the starter at right guard. But Holland has been out since Friday with a lower back injury. So the Cowboys moved veteran Kyle Kosier from left guard to right guard to provide Smith with a veteran next to him. Rookie David Arkin will start at left guard tonight, while second-year center Phil Costa will start in place of Andre Gurode, who is rehabbing from off-season knee surgery.
3. Kicking competition
Rookie Dan Bailey has been the better field-goal kicker in a duel of kickers, but veteran David Buehler has the edge in kickoffs. In his first season as the team's place-kicker, Buehler made only 24 of 32 field goals and missed two extra points last season. But he has 51 touchbacks in two seasons. Though Jerry Jones said the Cowboys could employ two kickers this season, as they did in 2009, it's more likely the job is Buehler's or Bailey's.
4. Rob Ryan's defense
The Cowboys ranked 31st in points allowed last season at 27.3 points per game. The 436 points surrendered was the most in Cowboys history. Players claim Wade Phillips' defense became "predictable" last season. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is anything but, with an 80-page playbook. With only one different starter -- free-agent signee Abe Elam has replaced Alan Ball at free safety -- the Cowboys are counting on Ryan to take them back where they were in 2009 when they ranked among the best.
5. Cornerbacks, anyone?
The Cowboys offered free-agent prize Nnamdi Asomugha $10 million a year. The cornerback signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving the Cowboys to hope Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins rebound this season. Newman played through a rib injury last season when he allowed 58 receptions for 871 yards and three touchdowns. Jenkins lost his confidence early, allowing 54 receptions for 935 yards and five touchdowns. Now, both are injured. Jenkins is out with a stinger. Newman has a groin injury that will keep him out at least through the preseason. Orlando Scandrick and Alan Ball will start tonight, but Bryan McCann and rookie Josh Thomas will get their chances to shine.