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Cowboys' chemistry test: Romo-to-Williams will make '09 debut vs. Raiders

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Romo and Roy Williams began practicing together in June to kick-start their development as quarterback and No. 1 receiver. The first real progress report comes Thursday night.

Romo and Williams won't be on the field for long when the Dallas Cowboys face the Oakland Raiders in their preseason opener, but it should be long enough for No. 9 to grow accustomed to looking for No. 11 -- instead of No. 81, the departed Terrell Owens.

"We just want to be productive," Williams said. "We might not score, but we might drive it down and kick a field goal. That's productive. Just don't turn the ball over. That's one thing that, if we want to be in the playoffs and want to win the Super Bowl, you can't turn the ball over."

"Let's see them do it in the game so we can see the real truth," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "We'll cut down the game plan enough that we feel like they won't make many mistakes and can get after it."

This game also is a chance for the Cowboys to catch up with Greg Ellis, the longtime defensive starter and team captain who was cut this summer and signed with the Raiders. On his way out of town, Ellis accused DeMarcus Ware of hiding on the sideline to force Ellis onto the field, a strange barb considering Ware hardly ever missed any snaps.

"It will definitely be tough to see him in a different color jersey," Cowboys linebacker Bradie James said of Ellis. "We'll get a chance to 'chop it up' with him, as we say. In other words, talk to him and it will be fine."

One quirk about this game is that the teams will meet again this season, on Thanksgiving. Phillips said that hardly will be a consideration in developing a game plan.

"We're playing so many people the first preseason game, it's a little tougher to gauge I would think, either side, who's going to do what in the regular season," Phillips said. "Plus, unless you play them the first game of the regular season, personnel and all those things have changed by that time."

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