Report: Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray not expected to play Thursday night

AP

The Cowboys won’t play quarterback Tony Romo in their preseason opener against the Chargers on Thursday night and it looks like that will only be one missing part from the starting offense.

Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys are also expected to kick off their exhibition schedule without tight end Jason Witten and running back DeMarco Murray. If they don’t play, it will make two straight years that Dallas has opted not to play Romo, Witten and Murray in their first preseason game of the summer.

While Romo is on his way back from back surgery, there are no specific health concerns with either Witten or Murray at this point in the schedule. They are important enough to the Cowboys offense, however, that the team likely sees more risk than reward when it comes to putting them on the field for a handful of plays in San Diego.

Sabin also reports that running back Lance Dunbar, who is recovering from knee surgery, will also be held out of the game.