Texans scrimmage Cowboys, get another first

Thursday, August 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ The expansion Houston Texans will record another first Friday: opposition.

The Dallas Cowboys are coming to sold out Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus for a scrimmage with the NFL's newest team. The scrimmage will give both teams a chance to test their early training camp progress.

The Texans will play their first game Monday against the New York Giants in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, so the Cowboys will give them a taste of where they stand.

For the Cowboys, it will be a needed chance to get extra work against another team since they will play only four preseason games.

``We really wanted to have a scrimmage,'' Cowboys coach Dave Campo said. ``We probably would have had one against ourselves but it's better to do it the other way.

``When you're playing against yourself, you have the chance of both getting hurt at the same time.''

Texans coach Dom Capers hasn't outlined playing time for his players but he expects to get a good, and maybe brief, look at No. 1 draft pick David Carr. Carr likely will be the starting quarterback when the two teams meet in the regular season opener Sept. 8.

``We don't know yet, how that's going to work out with playing time in the scrimmage,'' Capers said.

Don't expect to see too much of return specialist Jermaine Lewis running back kicks.

``We already know what he can do on kick returns, no need to waste time on that now,'' Capers said.

The Texans, who play a 3-4 defensive alignment, will get a chance to practice against a 4-3 defense, the same type the Giants use.

``We've got to give our offense a look at the 4-3,'' Capers said. ``We've got to do some trading off with our defense. We've haven't done game planning for New York, but we need to see some of the 4-3.''

Campo said the scrimmage would consist of 10-play drives. When a team gets to the 20 and still has downs left, the drive can be extended. Teams can kick a field goal or go for a touchdown.

``We will get as many plays as we can get and get a good evaluation of the whole 90-player roster we have,'' Campo said.

The Texans will take a close look at their offensive line, which is waiting for left tackle Tony Boselli to recover from shoulder surgery and anchor Carr's protection.

``I like our ability in the offensive line,'' Capers said. ``The biggest thing is to have experienced leadership. When you get into a game, the more young guys you have, the tougher it is when something goes wrong.

``We've got to get them working so they don't go out and break down.''