First-round pick and running back Ezekiel Elliott, as well as most of the first-string Dallas Cowboys’ offense, is expected to make his NFL preseason debut against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night at CenturyLink Field. A hamstring injury kept Elliott out of Dallas’ first two preseason contests, but the 21-year-old rookie will get his first taste of the league against Seattle’s hard-hitting defense.
Elliott will join quarterback Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys best offensive players for most of the first half, however, receiver Dez Bryant, who suffered a concussion in practice Monday has been ruled out.
"I try to think of it just like another game," Elliott told ESPN. "That's how you want to attack every game. You don't want to attack one game more than another. You can't go out and press. That's when you're going to make mistakes. Just act like you've done it before."
While the matchup will afford Cowboys fans their first glimpse at the multi-faceted Elliott and will afford Romo more than the five passes he’s attempted thus far in the preseason, rookies and veterans angling for a roster spot are the key attraction for both teams.
With Bryant sitting out, third-year receiver Brice Butler, who’s leading the team with 96 yards and a touchdown off four receptions, might ensure his place on the team with a huge game and rookie quarterback Dak Prescott can also extend his stellar preseason play. The former Mississippi State star has scored six total touchdowns and passed for 338 yards in two games.
Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can also see the first real game action from third-round rookie defensive tackle Mailek Collins, who was on the injured list but will fill in for regular starter Tyrone Crawford.
On the other side, Seattle third-round running back C.J. Prosise will also make his debut after a hamstring injury limited him during training camp and the Seahawks first two preseason games.
“(Prosise) will play,” Carroll told The Seattle Times. “Ready to go with him. He will be limited but we will get him in there and looking forward to just getting him started, getting some snaps. He’ll play throughout, kind of just sprinkled in plays just to see what he can do and this is the first step. . … He looked really good in practice and everything we’ve ever seen of him has looked good. We just haven’t seen very much. He just needs to get going.”
Offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb, who joined the Seahawks on a two-year contract in March after a season with the Oakland Raiders, will also play his first game. Carroll said the tackle could play on both the left and right side.
However, tight end Jimmy Graham remains questionable even though he did participate in first-team drills on Wednesday.
Start Time: 10 p.m. ET (NFL Network will televise the game in progress at 11 p.m. ET)
TV Channels: KPTV-12 FOX (Seattle); KTVT-11 CBS (Dallas); NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL Game Pass