ARLINGTON –– The Cowboys' fifth and final preseason game wasn't much to see but it did finally bring an end to training camp.
Their 24-6 loss to the Texans meant little in the grand scheme of things. Team owner Jerry Jones is ready to move toward the season opener, which takes place in just nine days. The preseason ended with a 2-3 record.
"I think we've had a very successful off season," Jones said after the game. "We played five games and we got a lot of work out in California, a lot of repetitions."
For head coach Jason Garrett, it was his last chance to gather tape on young players trying to make the team.
"From what I could tell on the sidelines, I thought the guys were playing hard," Garrett said. "They didn't play as well as we needed to. There were some communication issues."
The Cowboys scored no touchdowns in the game and rushed the ball only 18 times. Phillip Tanner had six carries for 35 yards and says it’s time to get ready for the season opener against the Giants.
"We don't have a choice," Tanner said. "The season is what, a week away? So we'll just rest up and watch film on Houston tomorrow and get right to the Giants and start to get ready for September 9."
The team’s offensive line remains a big question mark, both in performance and health. Guard Ron Leary did not play but was seen running before the game.
"Yeah, I mean, I can run now," Leary said. “I couldn't run a couple of days ago so now I'm running. It shows that I'm getting better." Leary did not know if he might be able to practice on Monday.
Garrett talked about his options, including the possibility of starting Doug Free and Leary at guard over Mackenzy Bernadeau.
"We talked about the combinations up front," Garrett said.
"We did play Doug (Free), as you know, last week at right guard and Jeremy (Parnell) at right tackle. That was a good thing for our football team just to see that in a real live game situation," he said.
"They’ve been practicing that way a little bit. Again, the idea was to get the five best guys out there, the best combination of five as well. So that’s certainly an alternative out there for us going forward. We had a bunch of injuries in training camp," he added.
No front line starters played in the game, which gave the young players a chance to see more action. That included a group of young linebackers. "We’ll evaluate our whole football team and just see where they are," Garrett said. "Again, a lot of young guys out there and sometimes when they’re responsible for making adjustments themselves, they don’t have them quite as quickly as you want them to."
"You just try to put the best mix together and often times that provides an opportunity for somebody. We’ll see how it all shakes out in the next few days," Garrett said.
The final cut will take place at 5 p.m., Saturday. The team will be back on the field for their next practice on Labor Day.