Stephen McGee will start Thursday

IRVING, Texas – As usual, Tony Romo and most of the rest of the Cowboys’ starters will stand on the sideline during the preseason finale.

Stephen McGee will start at quarterback and probably play the entire game against the Miami Dolphins.

That was the original plan, although Wade Phillips briefly waffled after the Cowboys poor preseason performances the last two weeks. He said Tuesday that only a few starters will play Thursday night, when the Cowboys will take the opportunity to evaluate younger players.

McGee, a fourth-round pick in 2009, tops the list of players the Cowboys need to evaluate this preseason. There has been some internal discussion about whether he deserves a roster spot as a developmental quarterback, but the prevailing opinion seems to be that it’s too early to give up on a prospect with his physical tools and makeup.

“I think it’s really important,” Phillips said. “He made a step forward. We’ve seen it in the last couple of games and as training camp went on. He seems to be a little more comfortable in this pro-type offense.

“We all know it takes quarterbacks a while [to develop]. But we want to give him this opportunity to go out there and do what he can do and prepare.”

McGee has bounced back from a bad showing against the Raiders (2 of 7 for 11 yards) by completing 12 of 16 passes for 93 yards in the last two games. He’s still been too cautious. The Cowboys want to see him play aggressively while making smart, quick decisions.