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Preseason Game No. 3: Vikings vs. Dallas

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • August 27, 2011 - 12:44 AM
7 p.m. Saturday at Mall of America Field/Metrodome

TV: Ch. 11 Radio: 100.3-FM, 1130-AM

About the Vikings (1-1)

Among the positions still up for grabs are No. 2 quarterback, right guard, strong safety, punt returner, the third and fourth cornerbacks, and the fourth and fifth receivers. There's also a Tuesday roster cutdown from 90 to 80 players to consider. "This game, as I told our team, will play a major role in determining where people are going to fit on our squad," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We have some big decisions to make." ... Starters are expected to play into the third quarter for both teams. Joe Webb will be the Vikings' No. 2 quarterback, followed by Christian Ponder, who will make his Metrodome debut. Anthony Herrera will start at right guard in his first game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last November. ... Eight players won't play, including starters TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and DT Kevin Williams (plantar fasciitis). CB Asher Allen (toe) also won't play, which will give last week's star -- former Gopher Marcus Sherels -- another extended opportunity to make the team and climb the depth chart.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (1-1)

Jason Garrett earned the head coaching job by taking a 1-7 team and going 5-3 as an interim coach a year ago. Quarterback Tony Romo returns this fall after missing 11 games because of a fractured collarbone. But he won't have No. 1 receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) in this game. ... Defensively, Rob Ryan takes over as coordinator of a unit that let the team down in 2010. Like all the Ryans, Rob has an attack-oriented defensive mind that likes to confuse offenses with exotic blitz packages. He won't show everything in a preseason game, but look for OLB DeMarcus Ware to move around and challenge both left tackle Charlie Johnson and right tackle Phil Loadholt. Ware has 82 sacks over the past five seasons. ... Starting CBs Terence Newman (groin) and Mike Jenkins (shoulder) won't play. K David Buehler (hip) also isn't expected to play. ... RB Felix Jones is averaging 7.9 yards per carry (10-79). Romo is completing 64.7 percent of his passes (11 of 17). WR Dwayne Harris, a surprising rookie sixth-round draft pick, has five catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns, including a 76-yarder. And rookie Tyron Smith, the ninth overall pick, is the starting right tackle.

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