Tony Romo has had three rookies in his huddle as well as second-year center Phil Costa. He knows them by both name and number now.
"I've got most of them down," Romo said, joking.
Romo will go into the season with first-round pick Tyron Smith at right tackle. He might have a rookie at left guard. Fourth-round pick David Arkin started against Denver, and seventh-round pick Bill Nagy has taken snaps with the first unit the past two days.
Costa was the center until Pro Bowler Andre Gurode returned Saturday from knee surgery in June.
The young players have had their baptism by Ryan. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has shown the Cowboys' offense most of his 80 defensive plays.
"It puts a lot of pressure on some of the young linemen to react quickly and really be on top of it mentally," Romo said. "But it's kind of a double-edged sword in a sense. It's just hard for these guys, because they didn't get the off-season to learn it. So not only did they not have an off-season coming into the NFL, on top of it they are going to get one of the most exotic defenses they are going to see all year."
Romo and the offense are ready to face a defense other than their own. They'll get that chance Thursday after a day off. Dallas will practice against the Chargers on Thursday and Friday.
"I just think anytime you can create more competition on a daily basis," Romo said. "I enjoy competing. I think everybody enjoys competing against another team. I think it'll be a benefit. It'll feel like a mini-game in a lot of ways. It will be fun."
Greenhouse to FB
An seemingly innocent conversation with quarterback Jon Kitna resulted in a change of football fate for Isaiah Greenhouse.
"Before our walkthrough [Tuesday], Kitna asked me if I ever played fullback and if I would like to," Greenhouse recalled. "I said, 'I never really played it, but I wouldn't mind playing the position.'"
Not long after, coach Jason Garrett made the move official.
"It was like, 'We like what you do; we like that you are physical; we want to see what you can do on offense at fullback,'" Greenhouse said.
Greenhouse was in a logjam at inside linebacker and unlikely to make the roster. At fullback, the Cowboys have no front-runner. Former tight end Jason Pociask was moved to fullback a couple of weeks ago as rookie draft pick Shaun Chapas and last year's starter, Chris Gronkowski, have yet to distinguish themselves.
The players had no curfew Tuesday night. They are off today.
The Cowboys announced a multi-year agreement with Houston-based Reliant Energy to be a major sponsor. Reliant will offer chances to receive autographed merchandise, tickets and exclusive access to Cowboys' special events.
The Cowboys' preseason game against San Diego was originally scheduled for Saturday but was switched to Sunday to be the nationally televised NBC game that night (on KXAS/5 locally).
The Cowboys released linebacker Alex Daniels and cornerback Ross Weaver. Both had been out the past couple of days with ankle injuries. The team has 85 players on its roster.