- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014


New faces: Rookies LB Anthony Hitchens, DE DeMarcus Lawrence, OL Zack Martin. DT Terrell McClain, LB Rolando McClain, DT Henry Melton, DE Jeremy Mincey, QB Brandon Weeden.

Key losses: LB Sean Lee, DE DeMarcus Ware, DT Jason Hatcher, QB Kyle Orton.

Strengths: QB, RB, WR, OL.

Weaknesses: DL, LB, DB.

What’s New: Scott Linehan is third play caller in as many seasons for Tony Romo, who is likely to throw downfield more than last year when Bill Callahan was running show. Linehan seems to have plans for RB Lance Dunbar because undrafted third-year player quickly rose to No. 2 spot behind DeMarco Murray and even got star treatment as healthy scratch in first preseason game.

Expectations: Cowboys don’t look better than 8-8 - their record for three years running - because they’re still scrambling for answers on defense that allowed most yards in league last year. Defense is without two best players in Lee and Ware. Another season without playoffs will match franchise record of five straight.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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