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Dallas Cowboys: Five Players to Watch for Against the Arizona Cardinals

Starters Expected to Play More in Week 2

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | A good number of starters saw the field in the Dallas Cowboys' 19-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders last Friday. They played well, and that's all people need to know.

The game's importance dwindled significantly once the first-teamers bolted for the sidelines for the rest of the game after playing one quarter.

Expect a heavy dosage of starters playing Saturday when the Cowboys face the Arizona Cardinals, in a game where both new-look teams will be examined extensively.

Here are the Cowboys you need to watch out for Saturday:

1) Brandon Carr

What better way to get tested in preseason than going up against Larry Fitzgerald?

That's the challenge for Dallas' No. 1 defensive back this week, facing high expectations in his second year with the Cowboys. Expect to see Morris Claiborne get reps on Fitzgerald as well, but Carr should see most of the time in one-on-one coverage.

Now that Fitzgerald has a quarterback who can actually throw a football, this Cardinals' offense is projected to be leaps and bounds ahead of last year. That doesn't take much to do, but Carson Palmer is no scrub. Carr is in for a good test Saturday.

2) Tony Romo

Romo will be observed highly over the course of the preseason due to undergoing that dreaded back surgery, but it didn't phase him against the Raiders last week.

The Cowboys' new $100-million quarterback completed 6-of-8 passes for 88 yards in his preseason debut in Oakland with a couple of long completions to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. In short, Romo looked sharp.

Look for how the offense plays in third-down situations. The Cowboys didn't convert a third down when Romo was on the field, but he didn't force the ball downfield, either. He played smart. If penalties aren't a factor (knowing this offensive line, who knows?), seeing how Romo handles third downs will be something to take note.

3) Jason Hatcher

Hatcher must be really motivated by Ben Bass. He's having a great summer so far.

He's on the outside looking in with Bass coming on strong in the last couple of weeks, but Hatcher is still a viable option at defensive tackle who could have a good game against a weak offensive line.

Dallas has a lot of depth at defensive tackle, but not a lot of spots to go around. Beyond Jay Ratliff, it's down to Hatcher, Bass and Sean Lissemore (who always finds his way back into the conversation during this time).

Look for Hatcher to get his reps and have a solid game against the Cardinals.

4) Terrance Williams

You talk about a preseason debut that's drawing much-anticipated hype in Cowboys camp, Dallas may get its first look at Williams on Saturday.

The Cowboys' third-round draft pick out of Baylor missed the last two games due to a concussion, but the young receiver who could challenge Miles Austin for the No. 2 receiver spot this year may get a good amount of playing time against the Cardinals.

Williams may be the second-best rookie in camp behind Travis Frederick, and he's been making plays like a Dez Bryant clone. If he does get reps with the first team, he'll start out in the slot. Expect him to move to the outside later in the game.

5) Travis Frederick

You may cringe at first, but don't be alarmed to see the Cowboys' first-round pick play a lot of guard on Saturday.

Guard hasn't been the strong suit for Frederick so far. He's excelled at center and could start the year there. But with numerous injuries to the interior offensive line, added in with Ronald Leary going under the knife, Frederick may move over to the left or right for a couple of series.

This should be only temporary, especially if the Cowboys can lock up a deal with Brian Waters before the season begins. Hopefully, that comes sooner rather than later.

Whom are you looking forward to watching on Saturday? Put your thoughts down in the comments section.

Danny Webster is a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys. Contact him on Twitter by following @DannyWebster21.

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