ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Phillip Tanner #34 of the Dallas Cowboys pushes his way into the end zone for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams at the Cowboy Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Rams 34 to 7. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
The third pre-season game is considered the most important of the NFL's exhibition season. What to watch for in the Cowboys game against St. Louis on Saturday night and where to watch it.
After their trip to Oxnard, Oakland, and San Diego, the Dallas Cowboys are finally home to wrap up the pre-season. The next game will see them hosting the St. Louis Rams at 7 pm CDT. (That's 8 Eastern, 6 Mountain and 5 Pacific. All you overseas types are on your own. Sorry.)
The Rams are trying to return to winning with quarterback Sam Bradford. Over at Turf Show Times, their SBN site, they think how he performs is one of the Rams' key things to watch in the game, along with how their rookies perform, how the offensive line holds up, and what wide receiver will step up. (Is it just me, or do those last three things look strangely familiar?)
But another big thing on their minds, although it is not all the pertinent to evaluating their players, is what will happen this year when DeMarco Murray takes the field. As you may recall, Murray had his breakout performance that earned him the starting job against the Rams in 2011. Don't expect to see a repeat of that this year. While Murray is expected to get a few more carries than the five he has had total in the first two games, he will still be limited. But there is something to watch for in the running game, as both Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar are expected return to action in what is now looking to be a three-way battle for the third RB slot with Jamize Olawale.
Both teams come into the game with 1-1 pre-season records, which is of course meaningless. More pertinently, both teams had rough outings in the first game, and then showed considerable improvement, particulary with the projected starters, in the second. This is also expected to be the "dress rehearsal" game. Tony Romo will likely see a full half or more of action. He is still expected to be working without his top three passing targets, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten, but that just means more chances for the down roster contenders to assert themselves. Other things of likely interest to Cowboys fans:
- Can the offensive line continue to improve with Nate Livings getting his first reps?
- Will the defense continue the encouragingly nasty trend it has started?
- Who will be getting the majority of work returning kicks and punts?
- Most importantly, can the team get out of the game with no more significant injuries?
After the jump, the television listings and a link to a radio station guide.
Here's the listing of TV stations covering the game:
|Cowboys broadcast:||Rams broadcast:|
|(Bill Jones, Babe Laufenberg)||(Andrew Siciliano, Marshall Faulk, Orlando Pace)|
|KTVT 11 (CBS; Dallas)||KRBC 9 (NBC; Abilene)||KTVI 2 (FOX; St Louis)|
|KMYS 35 (MyTV; San Antonio)||KWES 9 (NBC; Odessa)||WQWQ (CW; Paducah KY)|
|KEYE 42 (CBS; Austin)||KMYL 14 (MyTV; Lubbock)||KQFX 22 (FOX; Columbia, MO)|
|KWKT 44 (FOX; Waco)||KCIT 14 (FOX; Amarillo)||KRBK 49 (FOX; Springfield MO)|
|KJTL 18 (FOX; Wichita Falls TX)||KFOX 14 (FOX; El Paso)||KFJX 14 (FOX; Joplin MO)|
|KTEN 10.3 (NBC; Sherman TX)||KOCB 34 (CW; Oklahoma City)||KYOU 15 (FOX; Ottumwa IA)|
|KFXK 51 (FOX; Tyler TX)||KOTV 6 (CBS; Tulsa)||KHQA 7.2 (ABC; Quincy IL)|
|KBTV 4 (FOX; Beaumont)||KARK 4 (NBC; Little Rock)||WBUI 23 (CW; Sprinfield IL)|
|KVCT 19 (FOX; Victoria TX)||KFTA 24 (FOX; Fayetteville AR)||WAOE 59 (MyTV; Peoria)|
|KRIS 6 (NBC; Corpus Christi)||KTAL 6 (NBC; Shreveport LA)||WTVW 7 (Evansville IN)|
|KRGV 5 (ABC; Harlingen)||KASY 50 (MyTV; Albuquerque)||KWTV 9 (CBS; Oklahoma City)|
|KVTV 13 (CBS; Laredo)||KSAN 3 (NBC; San Angelo)||KTUL 8 (ABC; Tulsa)|
If you are not in the viewing area for one of those stations, those with the channel can wait for the tape delay of the game on the NFL Network at 11 pm Centeral (you can work the other times out, right?). And if you still can't find a way to watch the game, here is a link to the Cowboys radio network. Hopefully you can find a station that you can stream online there. Brad Sham and Bryan Broaddus have the preseaon call. Failing all other options, there will open comment threads going for the game here at BTB, and you can get a pretty good idea of how the team is doing there. And of course you may want to be there anyway to join in the general frivolity.
To repeat a word of caution: Please do not put up links to the various other websites that stream the broadcasts. There are some serious legal issues involved in that (most of the sites originate overseas and there are all kinds of copyright issues and such). While you can argue the logic of this and whether it makes any economic sense, that is still the law. You may find some sites you can watch video on. But if you promote those other sites in any comment threads here, it is conceivable that BTB could be held liable, and even get shut down. So don't do it.
There. Hate to be nag, but it is important we try to police such things. So kick back, grab yourself a beverage or two, and lets watch us some Cowboys football!