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Training Camp Buzz: Cowboys' issues are Texas-sized

The rest of the country saw Monday night what Dallas Cowboys fans have been worried about all month. The Cowboys' interior offensive line is in shambles. (Sound familiar?) The wide receiver position is woefully thin after Laurent Robinson left town.

We've seen worse television, too, but Dallas' roster holes are more pronounced than most on contending teams.

If the Cowboys can't find two guards and a center who can stay healthy and play reasonably well, DeMarco Murray will never get on track this year. Tony Romo will defend his title as the man who escapes the most ridiculous sacks, but also gets tossed around like a rag doll when it doesn't work.

At wideout, Andre Holmes tried to step up in the team's No. 3 receiver competition. Undrafted rookie Cole Beasley has made a lot of noise since he briefly quit the team. The reality is that Dallas may only have two NFL-quality wide receivers on their entire roster.

One (Miles Austin) is injury prone, and the other (Dez Bryant) faces possible discipline by the NFL. The other is just injury prone.

Position Battling

  1. Jake Locker took the first snaps at Titans Tennessee practice Monday. He'll start the Titans' second preseason game Friday. This was the plan all along, but we really think Locker could sew up the starting job over Matt Hasselbeck with a strong week.

Lombardi: Preseason in perspective

It's easy to get carried away with August activity. Michael Lombardi says preseason games only tell part of the story. **More ...**

  1. Kevin Kolb will start the Arizona Cardinals' third preseason game. ESPN reported Tuesday morning that John Skelton is the favorite for the job, however, with Ken Whisenhunt getting increasingly frustrated that his guys won't pull the trigger.
  1. Pete Carroll isn't talking about who will start the Seattle Seahawks' second preseason game. Our resident Seahawks guru Brian McIntyre believes it will by Matt Flynn. Russell Wilson was impressive in his debut, but he seems destined to start the year on the bench.
  1. St. Louis Rams rookie wideout Brian Quick struggled to get off press coverage in the season opener. Danny Amendola and Steve Smith started at receiver for the Rams. It could stay that way for a while.

Monday Night's Highlight

No, it wasn't the play of Cowboys safety Barry Church. (Although he was pretty good.) It was terrific to see a healthy Darren McFadden making plays again for the Raiders. He can be a top-three running back this year if he just stays healthy. There are some concerns with how McFadden will transition (back) to a zone scheme, but he's too talented and in his prime to not be productive. If he stays healthy.

Not a Good Day For...

  1. As Raiders quarterbacks go, Matt Leinart probably is closer to catching Carson Palmer than Terrelle Pryor is to catching Leinart. To put it another way: Pryor will need to show some progress this year, or he'll be close to looking for work next offseason.
  1. Tyler Thigpen has to be worried. Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey said Vince Young had his best day of training camp Monday, as he took some snaps with the first team during red zone drills. Young will be the team's No. 2 quarterback this week.

A Good Day For...

  1. It's always great to see undrafted rookies back up big training camps in the preseason. Raiders rookie Rod Streater looks like a keeper as a possession receiver. With all of their speedsters, they need a player like Streater.
  1. Titans wideout Kenny Britt could play by the end of the preseason. It's uncertain if he'll be suspended before the season.
  1. Any running back facing the Indianapolis Colts early in the season should have an easier matchup following Colts linebacker Pat Angerer's injury. As great as Andrew Luck looked in his debut, the Colts still might have the most holes on defense of anyone in the NFL.

On the Agenda

There are no football games Tuesday night for the first time in five days. I'm going to crank through my copy of Football Outsiders, which includes our own Brian McIntyre. Marc Sessler will have some awards from the first preseason week later today on Around the League. I'm also going to look at one concern for each squad heading into Preseason Week 2. Happy Tuesday.

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