The cancellation of Thursday’s preseason finale against the Houston Texans robbed the Dallas Cowboys of one final look at some players on the bubble before final cuts Saturday.
Vice president Stephen Jones said the team is prepared to make roster decisions and that the opportunity for the Texans to get back home to their family and access the devastation surrounding the floods from Hurricane Harvey was more important than a final preseason game.
“I think there is no choice,” Jones said about making final cuts without one final look. “We feel good about where we are as a team. The most important thing is our feeling for what the Texans had to go through, their families. We certainly support them getting back to their families. This thing is a lot more important than any football game.”
Starters and front-line players generally sit out the preseason finale to avoid injury heading into the season opener, which this year is Sept 10. Teams typically use the final game to get one last look at young players and to crystallize decisions on bubble players.
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The Cowboys won’t have that opportunity against the Texans, but they weren’t shorted a game. The Cowboys have already played four preseason games, thanks to their presence in the Hall of Fame Game against the Arizona Cardinals as part of festivities honoring owner Jerry Jones’ induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The team used that game for its young players and rookies.
Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys will have a competitive practice Thursday in lieu of the game for players to make a final case for a roster spot or cement a spot.
“A lot of the young guys who would’ve played in this game tomorrow night have played a lot of football for us, so it is what it is,” Garrett said. “We’re not going to be able to bring another team in here and have a game. So with practice tomorrow we’ll do some kind of competitive situation and we’ll continue that evaluation and then make the final decisions.”