By Zach Walker
The Cowboys were not victorious in their preseason opener in San Francisco, but within that loss, there are layers. The goods were there on display. The first team offense had a touchdown drive that excited the fan base to the potential of this “Dak-friendly” stable of wide receivers. The 2018 draft class had some very solid showing. The second round pick, Conner Williams had a single bad sack surrendered, but bounced back well in the game. The first round pick, Leighton Vander Esch looked good too, playing well in coverage, not hauling in an interception because of the boundaries of the field. Michael Gallup hauled in a gem of a pass from Dak Prescott for a thirty yard touchdown. It was a positive game for sure. Despite not playing Sean Lee and Ezekiel Elliott.
Things to watch for on Saturday
#1: The Pass Rush: That rush looked good in San Fran. The addition of Antwaun Woods looks like there is something there. The Cowboys looked to be in form, being very mobile, filling in gaps, and rushing to the play. The Cowboys saw some really positive flashes from Taco Charlton, staying in his assignments and forcing the quarterback to just end it. The Cowboys look like they are going to get to kick the tires on Randy Gregory against the Bengals. It’s the definite high point of this game.
#2: The Offense: Vague. I know. However, Travis Frederick won’t be going in this tilt, so that’ll test the guards in this game. That’ll also effect the rush getting after Prescott from in the middle, and when they rush in short yardage, the push they get from the center position. The Bengals have big time defensive threats like Geno Atkins, and he’ll know that Frederick won’t be there, and that’s the crack in the dam. The ball is going to have to be released quickly, and that’s to the receivers. The Bengals have a lot invested in their secondary, and the Cowboys have a gaggle of very green receivers. It’ll be a strong test for the young Cowboys.
From the Bengals
We get to see how the defense plays against a dynamic duo of Andy Dalton to A.J. Green. We also get to see how the defense fares against the completely average Andy Dalton to literally anyone else. The Bengals have some good weapons, including Joe Mixon, so to see Jaylon Smith track him down should be a very tasty matchup to watch on Saturday.