Three things: Cowboys at Texans

Three things I’ll be watching for in Cowboys at Houston:

Signs of life: The Texans were far too flat last week in New Orleans and it was a huge disappointment. It shouldn’t take a game against Texas’ more popular franchise and a preview of a Week 3 regular-season game to give them spark. That quick and meaningful rematch means this game will be very vanilla. But the Houston scoop ought to be the tastiest vanilla you’ve ever had. Starters should play the longest of any preseason game.

Plays in the pass rush and in coverage: The Cowboys' line may be a vulnerability. Let’s see some linemen beat some blocks and make things difficult on Tony Romo and the quarterbacks. Dallas has some talented receivers, and it’d be a nice confidence boost for one of the young cornerbacks to make a big play or two to get the ball back for the offense.

Kickoffs: They’ve been an underrated part of the Kris Brown-Neil Rackers training camp competition. The Texans haven’t been happy with kickoffs from either one, and Gary Kubiak said this week that better kickoffs could easily sway what’s been a very close competition so far.