4 things to know before Cowboys vs. Cardinals — here’s how to watch


Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) and quarterback Dak Prescott (4) do a quick dance during at water break at practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

OXNARD, Calif. (KXAN) — The Dallas Cowboys got the first preseason game out of the way to shake off the cobwebs and now move ahead with the promise of a new season.

Dallas didn’t show much or score a touchdown in the loss to Pittsburgh. Here’s to a better outcome (and at least a touchdown) Friday night in Phoenix.

The Cowboys traveled from California to Phoenix Thursday, and will continue east after the game back to Texas. Training camp in Oxnard is over. Dallas will resume practice at The Star in Frisco next week.

Let’s take a look at some storylines heading into Friday’s preseason game.

Dak Prescott’s health and the backup competition

Quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t expected to play against the Cardinals as he continues to rehab from a shoulder injury sustained early in training camp.

Prescott is expected to undergo another MRI on his shoulder when the team returns to Dallas. However, he says he’s making progress and the additional MRI isn’t a setback.

“It’s tough. I’m a go, go, go guy. Something like this you can’t stress it too fast. It’s the risk vs. the reward at this point and I’ve got to know what I’m playing for and that’s to be ready for the season,” Prescott said.

This shoulder injury is unique for football. Prescott says he’s working with doctors who normally focus on baseball players to help him get ready for the season. The key is not to push too hard. Ultimately, Prescott is shooting for the season opener Sept. 9 to be 100% — not the preseason.

“Everyday we’re progressing. Today was more than yesterday. That’s the goal to raise it everyday, but not push it past the threshold,” Prescott said.

Friday will be another big night for former Texas Longhorn Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci. Who can step up and be the backup for this team?

More playing time for Micah Parsons

The Dallas Cowboys first round draft pick made a short appearance in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh. He made a big impression during the first episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks.

The cameras certainly gravitate toward the former Penn State linebacker.

During one scene on Hard Knocks, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn promised Parsons more preseason playing time this week. We’ll see Friday night if Quinn was being honest.

Improvement after Hall of Fame game dud

No one was expecting a masterpiece from either the Cowboys or Steelers in last week’s Hall of Fame game, but the Cowboys need to show some signs of life in week two.

A touchdown would be nice after the offense was limited to a field goal against the Steelers.

There’s pressure on the players and coaches to produce. Taking away Prescott’s devastating 2020 injury, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy still needs to show that he’s the right man to lead the Cowboys.

How to watch Cowboys vs. Cardinals

Watch the game in the Austin area on KXAN Friday at 9 p.m. CDT. Nationally, the game will air on NFL Network.

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