ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – After an offseason and preseason filled with new contracts, new (and familiar) faces and “Zeke Watch,” it’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to put it all on the field.
The regular season begins at AT&T Stadium for a team that has players and fans optimistic about reaching the desired goal of the Super Bowl.
The Cowboys’ first test will be a familiar one: the NFC East rival New York Giants.
Dallas’ topsy-turvy offseason began with the introduction of former quarterback Kellen Moore as the team’s new offensive coordinator. Fans will now be able to see how the Cowboys offense reacts to new play calling in games that matter.
Contracts also dominated the Cowboys headlines with players like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins getting their new deals.
The one player who was talked about the most was star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who held out of training camp and preseason games as he was seeking a new contract.
Last week, Elliott was given an extension that made him the top-paid running back in the NFL, giving players and fans a sigh of relief.
With these playmakers locked up, it appears the team is on the right track to their Super Bowl dreams.
However, contract talks do not appear to over as it was reported that the Cowboys and starting quarterback Dak Prescott weren’t able to reach a deal before their season opener. There were reports that both sides were hoping to strike a deal this weekend.
Dallas also saw the return of two familiar faces to the team: tight end Jason Witten and center Travis Frederick.
Witten retired last season and spent his time in the broadcast booth for Monday Night Football. He later announced that he was returning to football and the Cowboys.
Frederick was out all of last season after he was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, a disease that affects muscles. Teammates and fans are excited to see his return to the field as he remains an important part of the dominant offensive line.
In injury news, cornerback Byron Jones will reportedly not start against the Giants as he continues to recover from offseason hip surgery.
The list of inactives for Sunday’s game are: Darian Thompson, Donovan Wilson, Luke Gifford, Adam Redmond, Brandon Knight, Trysten Hill and Taco Charlton.
Elliott is also expected to shoulder a lesser-than-usual workload since his first practice with the team was last Wednesday. Rookie Tony Pollard, who was drafted in the fourth round of this year’s draft, will see some action and give fans a chance to see what he can do.
It’s a season of optimism for the Cowboys, and it’s time to put all of their offseason and preseason headlines to the field.
Kickoff for the season opener is at 3:25 p.m. CT. Be sure to follow along for live updates during the game at @CBSDFW on Twitter.