The Dallas Cowboys will host the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night in Week 3 of the 2015 NFL preseason. While the third preseason game is usually reserved for giving starters the most playing time, both teams might be more concerned with leaving the game without any major injuries.
Dallas lost one of their top defensive players this week when cornerback Orlando Scandrick suffered a torn ACL. Minnesota is relatively healthy, and they’ll want to stay that way for when they open the season in two weeks.
Dallas’ offensive line is their strength, but the unit has also been banged up during training camp. The Cowboys continue to be cautious with Zack Martin, who suffered a bad stinger last week. Tyron Smith hasn’t played at all this preseason, though he was in full pads during practice this week. If Dallas doesn’t have a completely healthy offensive line on Saturday, it could affect the playing time of Tony Romo and other starters.
Minnesota could be without their starting center, as John Sullivan recovers from a back injury. The Vikings claim they are being cautious with Sullivan, who missed the last exhibition game. Safety Antone Exum returned to the field this week after battling a hamstring injury.
Players to Watch
Orlando Scandrick is done for the year, giving Morris Claiborne a chance to be the player that Dallas hoped they were getting with the No.6 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The cornerback missed the first two preseason games, but he’s set to play on Saturday, claiming he’s healthier than he has been since he was in college. Claiborne hasn’t played in an NFL game since Sept. 28 of last year.
The Vikings spent their second round pick on Eric Kendricks, and they are hoping he can be a key part of their linebacking corps this season. The rookie had just one tackle in the team’s last preseason game, and he has not been able to secure a spot as a starter. He’s competing with Audie Cole and Gerald Hodges for playing time, as he looks to get ready for the regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Where to Watch
The game is set to start at 7 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium. It can be seen locally in Dallas on CBS 11 and FOX 9 in Minnesota. NFL Game Pass offers a live stream online.