OAKLAND -- The preseason begins tonight for most of the Cowboys front line players, many of whom sat out the Hall of Fame game Sunday against the Dolphins.

You won't see the players for long, but Cowboys fans are looking forward to a sneak peek nonetheless.

So, how much will starting quarterback Tony Romo play? It's the first time he's taken live game snaps since signing a six-year, $108 million contract extension this off season and having back surgery to remove a cyst.

Head coach Jason Garrett told the media this week to expect Romo to play as much as he has in other first preseason games.

So, here's what we found:

2012 - In the Cowboys opener against the Raider team they'll play tonight, Romo was under center for 11 plays from scrimmage, which took place over 3 series; the last 2 of which were 3-and-punt. He actually took snaps into the second quarter.

2011 - In the preseason opener against the Broncos, Romo had 9 plays from scrimmage on a drive that resulted in a field goal on the team's first series and his work was done for the night.

2010 - In the Hall of Fame game against Cincinnati, Romo took 14 snaps on the game's first series. The result was a field goal, Romo then wore a ball cap for the rest of the night. In the second preseason game that year, against Oakland again, Romo took 17 snaps over 2 series that lasted most of the first quarter.

So, depending on how long the series last tonight and the success the cowboys have, expect to see your starting quarterback around 10 to 15 snaps, or so. Now let's see how well he can move the football in limited action. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. CST.

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