Kevin Kowalski was minding his own business before Saturday's game against the Vikings, preparing to play his normal backup snaps with the backup quarterbacks when he found out he would be starting in place of five-time Pro Bowler Andre Gurode.
Gurode was being held out of the game for business reasons (the Cowboys are determining his status as it relates to his $5.5 million salary) and with backup Phil Costa injured, that put third-stringer Kowalski on the field and in charge of protecting franchise quarterback Tony Romo.
"It came awfully quick," Kowalski said. "But you always have time to be nervous, especially with a franchise quarterback. I wanted to make sure I do my job and keep guys off of him."
Kowalski did fine. Romo was sacked just once and the offense moved the ball effectively.
* Wide receiver Jesse Holley went a long way toward keeping his fourth and long dream alive with a three-catch performance against the Vikings.
Remember, Holley won Michael Irvin's Fourth and Long reality show and got a trip to Cowboys training camp two years ago. He made the practice squad after a game-winning punt return against the Vikings.
He returned to the scene of the crime Saturday night and another eye-opening performance that might give him a chance to make the roster in 2011.
Holley had three catches for 51 yards, including two key third-down receptions. The latter was a 16-yard reception from Tony Romo during his time with the first teamers that keyed the Cowboys' lone touchdown.
"It was important for me to come out and show not only can I do special teams but that I can come out and be a force and be someone people will have to look out for offense," Holley said.
"For a guy like me, it's always important to have a good game. The third, fourth, fifth receiver ... this is a time where opportunity presents itself. It's the third preseason game and I get a chance to be with the first group. That speaks volumes not just for this team but 31 other teams as a guy who can play all four special teams as well as being the third receiver out there."
Cowboys pursuing trade for Gurode
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