2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things about Texans, Cowboys in preseason

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:18

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Houston Texans look set at backup quarterback no matter who they pick, and the Dallas Cowboys have problems with depth on defense.

Those were among the conclusions to be drawn from the Texans' 24-6 victory Thursday night in a preseason finale that was missing all but maybe one starter.

Houston quarterbacks Case Keenum and T.J. Yates continued their solid preseason play, but got a big assist from an offensive line that pushed around Dallas' backup defenders all night.

``Obviously their group played better than our group,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. ``I think in some ways it does reflect on the depth of the football team right now.''

The Cowboys have to decide whether to keep Alex Tanney as a third quarterback. The Texans made his life miserable, sacking him seven times.

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Five things we know about the Texans at the end of the preseason:

BACKUP QB? CHECK: In the battle to back up Matt Schaub, Keenum and Yates have been neck-and-neck all preseason, and nothing changed in the final exhibition game against Dallas. Houston could go with the experience of Yates, who got Houston's first-ever playoff win when Schaub was hurt in 2011. Then there's the potential of Keenum, who spent last season on the practice squad after leaving the University of Houston as the NCAA's all-time passing leader.

WHAT'S UP WITH REED? The Texans may have to decide by Saturday whether to keep injured safety Ed Reed on the physically unable to perform list, which would cost him at least the first six games. The 34-year-old Reed had his second hip surgery in three years. The last one cost the nine-time Pro Bowler the first six games of 2010.

FOSTER'S PEOPLE: Running back Arian Foster could be ready for the Sept. 8 opener at San Diego, but he missed most of training camp with a right calf strain and then a sore back. There's a bevy of backs behind him. Ben Tate is an established backup, and Deji Karim was the leading rusher in the preseason before sitting the finale against Dallas. Cierre Wood had 107 yards rushing against the Cowboys, and Dennis Johnson added 79 yards and a touchdown.

SMITH SITS ONE MORE: Defensive Antonio Smith will sit against the Chargers as the final game of a three-game suspension for ripping the helmet off Miami's Richie Incognito and hitting the Dolphins guard with it. Dynamic end J.J. Watt will be out there, though. And the Texans seem to apply pressure no matter who's out there.

JOHNSON AND COMPANY: Andre Johnson is healthy and ready, as he showed last week with 131 yards receiving in his only extensive work of the preseason. Rookie DeAndre Hopkins, a first-round pick, is already listed as a starter and expected to be ready for the opener even though he missed the last two preseason games with a concussion. DeVier Posey caught two passes against Dallas in his return from an Achilles tendon tear in last year's playoffs.

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Five things we know about the Cowboys:

ROMO'S TIME TO SHINE: Tony Romo has the richest contract in franchise history and a much bigger stake in the offense. He avoided any bad plays in limited preseason action, and was in the face of rookies when they made mistakes. He needs a long playoff run to justify the big payday. It could help save coach Jason Garrett's job, too.

FEELING THE RUSH: Defensive end DeMarcus Ware looks like he's ready for a big year in Dallas' new four-man front. He'll need help from the other side, though, and Anthony Spencer may not be ready for the opener after arthroscopic knee surgery early in training camp. The Cowboys don't have any proven NFL sack specialists beyond those two.

ON GUARDS: The Cowboys seem to think Ron Leary and Doug Free could be the starting guards for the opener Sept. 8 against the New York Giants. If so, Jermey Parnell is the likely starter at right tackle, which means four players would be making their first NFL starts at their positions.

PLAYMAKING LINEBACKERS: There's plenty of anticipation to see how Sean Lee and Bruce Carter look in the new 4-3 defense. New defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin made stars of similar players at Tampa Bay. Lee just signed a six-year extension worth at least $42 million.

SPECIAL TEAMS STRUGGLES: New special teams coach Rich Bisaccia has some work to do to get the Cowboys where they need to be on special teams. They've had multiple breakdowns throughout the preseason - everything from blocked field goals and botched punts to long returns given up on kickoffs and punts.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 20 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) reportedly plans on playing this week despite a broken bone in his hand.

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