By Zach Walker
Dallas Cowboys vs Houston Texans
Thursday – August 30 – 7:00 p.m.
NRG Stadium – Houston, Texas
I’m glad it wasn’t just me who had Sunday off, the Cowboys chose to take the night off and just cool AT&T Stadium for the Cardinals and all the fans who showed up to watch a bunch of athletes in silver and blue fail to do anything on offense. Cooper Rush really didn’t perform well at all, in a game in which he needed to pull away from draft pick Mike White. Rush got the start, threw a pick-six to Patrick Peterson then took a seat at the half. White looked MUCH stronger than at any other point during the preseason. The offense didn’t ever get anything rolling against the Cardinals, though the Cowboys did finally put together a field goal drive. The protection was never very strong, with Chaz Green allowing a steady stream of pressure from the right tackle spot. The interior portion of the offensive line, namely rookie guard Conner Williams and fill in center Joe Looney, weren’t too polished, but that’s really to be expected given their current positions in their careers. The Cowboys defense, despite their own offense setting them up with terrible position pretty much the entire game.
This finale in Houston will be the last shot for a few of the question marks to put things together on the field. The backup quarterback position. The tight ends. Swing tackle. Safety depth. These can all become clearer after Thursday evening’s game in Houston.
#1: Mike White’s Show: This final game should be Mike White’s sixty minute showcase. He’s likely to have Bo Scarbrough and Darius Jackson to hand the ball off to, and a handful of receivers that are fighting for their own jobs too. White could really use a touchdown drive or two or three. White really needs to just put together some scoring drives to stick around to have the potential to unseat Cooper Rush.
#2: The Tight Ends. I know I’m not alone in believing that Rico Gathers could be something. However, home-cooking or not, going off of what I’ve seen this preseason, I don’t believe the Cowboys have a really difficult choice in front of them, I believe they need to start the season in Carolina with Rico Gathers at tight end. Sure, he might not be a stellar blocker, but he just catches footballs. And that’s pretty much the that. Geoff Swaim could be the second tight end, and they can keep Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin on the practice squad.
I erased “Houston Blows” so I guess I’ll talk about their players. The Texans have a killer roster. Four deep at receiver, with the best in the league DeAndre Hopkins. Their defense is brutal. Clowney, Mercilus, McKinney, Cunningham, Johnathan Joseph, and Tyrann Mathieu. Their mascot JJ Watt is also coming back from injury, where he had a few decking screws installed in his knee. It all hinges on how Deshaun Watson returns from injury.