Top 5 Preseason Questions for Dallas

Bill Parcells isn't saying it's a make or break moment for back up QB Tony Romo, but considering he's never been under the spotlight quite this much, it basically is.

1. Is it now or never for Tony Romo?
Bill Parcells isn't saying it's a make or break moment for back up QB Tony Romo, but considering he's never been under the spotlight quite this much, it basically is. Romo will start Saturday night in Seattle and at least be given two quarters to showcase his skills. How he responds will go a long way in determining just what the Cowboys will do at quarterback before the start of the season. A good showing for Romo means Dallas keeps him as the true No. 2 guy for the 2006 season. A bad start means Jerry Jones and company start to look even harder for a veteran quarterback to serve as Drew Bledsoe's back up. Indeed, Saturday night may be the biggest moment of Tony Romo's young career.

2. Just how good is Sam Hurd?
Okay, so undrafted free agent wide receiver Sam Hurd has been the talk of training camp. Now let's see what he can do in his first preseason game in the National Football League. With Terrell Owens out with a hamstring injury, Hurd has been getting plenty of reps with the first team and should see significant action against the Seahawks Saturday evening. While some experts are already penciling him in on the practice squad, a strong preseason could mean a spot on the 53-man roster come September.

3. Will the new offensive line hold up?
It's been the biggest question mark for the Dallas Cowboys since Flozell Adams went down with a knee injury last season. Entering the preseason there's definitely reason for optimism, but clearly this unit has something to prove. At right tackle, Marc Colombo, Rob Petitti and Jason Fabini are all battling for playing time. (Fabini may not play Saturday.) The center position features another competition between Al Johnson and Andre Gurode and there's also some concern at left tackle where Flozell Adams continues to show improvement and Petitti continues to fill in as necessary. While it's just the first game of the preseason, Bill Parcells would like nothing more than to see his line hold up against the Seahawks giving Tony Romo plenty of time to showcase his skills.

4. Is rookie safety Pat Watkins ready to start?
Perhaps the biggest surprise of training thus far, at least when it comes to first year players, is safety Pat Watkins. A fifth round draft pick out of Florida State, Watkins has surprised the Cowboys with his effortless speed and strong coverage ability. By most accounts, he's positioned himself to be a starter provided he does well during the upcoming preseason games. A good showing in Seattle Saturday night would be a big step in that direction.

5. Is Demetris Summers any kind of threat?
Maybe you think this question is coming out of left field, but remember, Demetris Summers was once rated the No. 1 running back prospect in America coming out of high school. He still has great vision and the ability to make people miss. Is his work ethic a question mark? Absolutely. Has he had the strongest camp out of all the running backs? No. But any kind of breakout performance during the preseason could at least force the Cowboys to look at Summers for the practice squad, and he certainly has the talent to do it.

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