DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The NFL Preseason has a bad reputation for producing sub-par games with little meaning. That’s simply untrue (sort of).

The games are meaningful, interesting, and provide insight into a number of unanswered questions heading into the fast-approaching season.

Here are 5 reasons why you SHOULD watch NFL preseason games.

1. New Faces, New Hope

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) / (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) / (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

After restocking the roster with NFL prospects, 32 teams have a renewed hope of contending in 2014.

Will Johnny Manziel’s game translate to the NFL?

Can Jadeveon Clowney physically dominate in Houston?

Can Blake Bortles — or any quarterback for that matter — find success in Jacksonville?

The preseason gives us our first look at a number of young players as we begin to answer those questions.

2. Desperation At The Bottom

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Even the most casual fan has heard of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, but what about Caleb Hanie and Jamar Newsome?

Though standouts in college, these athletes are fighting for their NFL livelihoods — or at least the opportunity to make an NFL practice squad.

With little to lose, expect nothing less than 100 percent from the NFL bottom-dwellars. At least they’ll put on a show.

3. Position Battles

Michael Vick vs. Geno Smith

Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Darren McFadden

Johnny Manziel vs. Brian Hoyer

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) / (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) / (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

NFL training camps are full of high-profile position battles — many of which are decided by preseason game performances.

Who steps up? And who shrivels against third-string defenses? That might just make the difference.

4. It’s CLOSE To Reality

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Many of the NFL’s elite players will sit out the opening week of the preseason (Tom Brady, Tony Romo, to name a few).

But that won’t be the case as we move further into the preseason and towards regular-season football.

Week 3 of the preseason is widely considered the “dress rehearsal” game for opening week. We can at least look forward to that, and to seeing “real” football two weeks ahead of schedule.

5. Simply Put, It’s Football

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The summer sports doldrums can take a toll on casual and avid sports fans. After the NBA wrapped up in June, there’s been very little to engage the sports mind.

That’s especially true if your local baseball team is out of contention and void of all excitement.

Football is here. That statement is undeniable.

Let’s enjoy the games, overreact to the performances, and get ready for the 2014 NFL regular season opener on Sept. 4.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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