Tony Romo to play behind uncertain OL

OXNARD, Calif. – In all likelihood, Tony Romo will see one series of work when the Cowboys open the preseason at Oakland on Monday.

“I’d like to play the whole game but obviously that’s not going to happen,” Romo said. “I just like playing ball.”

Given the uncertain status on the interior line, the Cowboys would be wise to limit Romo’s work. A couple of years ago it was discussed whether to play Romo at all in the preseason opener because of injuries on the offensive line, but he still played.

The Cowboys will likely be without center Phil Costa because of a low back strain against the Raiders, which will give David Arkin his first game action at the position. Until a few days ago Arkin had never snapped a football. His backup will be Harland Gunn, an undrafted center from the University of Miami.

With Arkin at center, veteran Derrick Dockery, who was not with the team to start training camp, will start at left guard. Mackenzy Bernadeau could start at right guard, but he has practiced in pads only three times after missing the offseason and early camp coming back from hip and knee surgeries.

“I think obviously we’d like things to be a little different, but we’ve got to roll. Guys are working hard and they’re going to get an opportunity,” Romo said. “We gotta get some reps with a lot of guys, the snaps things like that will be good for guys to get that time, so we’ll see what happens.”

After 11 practices, Romo is just glad to be playing again.

“We’ll have some new guys in there so we’ll see how it goes, but I do think our team is ready to go out here and hit a new team and get back to playing some football,” Romo said.

Romo had his right index finger bandaged during the Saturday walkthrough, but coach Jason Garrett and the quarterback said nothing was wrong. He did not miss a snap in the afternoon and had plenty of zip on the ball.