Lance Dunbar wouldn't mind playing tonight, but has met his offseason goals

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys won't play their starters or regulars in tonight's preseason finale against the Houston Texans, but running game Lance Dunbar would not be opposed to getting at least some work.

"I mean it wouldn't hurt," Dunbar said.

Dunbar was activated off the active/physically unable on Aug. 21 as he has made a faster-than-expected return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and patellar tendon in the fourth game last season against the New Orleans Saints.

He has taken work in 11-on-11 drills in practice this week.

"I've been feeling pretty good," Dunbar said.

The Cowboys view Dunbar as a third-down back. He had a career-high 21 catches in just four games last year. His speed and quickness make him a matchup problem for defenses. He can also return kicks, however, that is how he got injured last year.

If he does not play against the Texans -- and it's not expected -- Dunbar said he tested his knee in rehab to make sure he could withstand what it takes to play in a game.

"I didn't wait to test it on the practice field," Dunbar said. "I've been working hard and doing drills. I tried to go hard there so I won't have to when I get back and maybe worry about it. I tested it before I got out there."

Soon after Dunbar had his surgery, his goal was to be ready by Week 1. It looks like he will have reached that mark.

"I didn't want to sit out," Dunbar said. "I've always come back from injuries pretty fast. I heal pretty fast, thank the Lord. But that was my goal from the time I figured out what my injury was. I had a long time to wonder and I felt like if I worked hard I'd be back on time."