Cowboys, Vikings look to solidify spots

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the season opener just over a week away, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson still doesn't know who is going to be protecting him on the right side of the line.

Four players are vying for openings at right guard and right tackle, and Thursday night's preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys could go a long way toward deciding the race.

"I am not ready to crown anybody king at that position and say this is going to be the starter in our first game," coach Brad Childress said earlier this week.

Anthony Herrera and Artis Hicks have been swapping in and out at right guard, with Ryan Cook and Marcus Johnson competing for the right tackle job.

The Cowboys have some decisions to make themselves after a sloppy performance last week against Houston. New coach Wade Phillips is looking for another cornerback because Terence Newman's bad foot could limit him this season, especially early.

Dallas also has a question at kicker. Incumbent Martin Gramatica was not expected to make the trip to Minneapolis because of a strained hamstring. Gramatica missed an extra point against Houston, but rookie Nick Folk has been perfect in the preseason, including a 52-yard field goal.

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