→What should we take from the move to remove redshirt status from freshman running back Jeremy Smith? Cowboys coach Mike Gundy downplayed the situation, saying there’s a need to get another running back ready. But a need to get a No. 4 back ready? Smith appears to give OSU a big-play threat that has been missing from the running game since Kendall Hunter suffered a knee injury in the Colorado game last year. Hunter is hurt again, trying to recover from an ankle sprain. And neither Keith Toston nor Beau Johnson has provided much of a burst in the backfield. Smith offers that, as well as another possible playmaker on punt and kickoff returns, with Perrish Cox and Dez Bryant also ailing. Decisions to burn redshirts are not taken lightly. Expect to see much more from Smith. →What, beyond the victory, was the best thing to come from Saturday night’s win over Grambling State? Cowboys fans got a glimpse of a promising future, and in some cases, it’s not necessarily a distant one. Smith and wideouts Dameron Fooks and Tracy Moore provided big plays, while quarterback Brandon Weeden looked more than capable throwing — and running. Weeden’s time must wait, but Smith, Fooks and Moore might have made a case for more prominent roles as the season progresses. "Anytime we can find more playmakers and guys we can trust to have the ball in their hands and make plays,” said regular quarterback Zac Robinson, "it’s awesome for our offense.” →Who among the injured will be ready when the Cowboys return to action at Texas A&M in 12 days? Gundy is sidestepping speculation for now. Yet there’s optimism that at least three of the four injured starters — Hunter, wide receiver Bryant, cornerback Cox and defensive end Jermiah Price — will be back on the field in College Station. "We’ll get Dez back and Kendall and some of those guys on defense, get them healthy this week and be ready to roll,” Robinson said. The off week arrives at an ideal time for this Cowboys squad, who had the four starters missing Saturday night’s game and several others banged up. "We’re ready for this open date,” said defensive coordinator Bill Young. "We really need this.” Bryant (hamstring) and Cox (shoulder) should play, while Hunter (ankle) and Price (thumb) are more questionable, although with time to recover further. →What has the first month of the season taught us about A&M? The Aggies appear to be improved over the crew that went 4-8 and finished last in the Big 12 South a year ago. How much improved is uncertain, since their 3-0 start was built against the likes of New Mexico, Utah State and UAB, teams that are a combined 2-9. "I think A&M is an improved football team,” Gundy said. "Their system is probably in place, and they’ve got guys who can run around and make plays. "It’s not like they’ve given up football down there.” We should know more Saturday, when A&M takes on Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Still, it appears the Aggies have responded in coach Mike Sherman’s second season. Quarterback Jerrod Johnson is off to a great start, with nine touchdown passes, no interceptions and four rushing TDs.