By Zach Walker
Now, didn’t that feel good? The first teamers flexed a little and showed something. “Oh it’s preseason…” Take it how you’d like, but the Cowboys played a winning half of football. A couple of takeaways, a couple of touchdown drives, a dominate Dez Bryant, and a video board re-do punt return touchdown. Now if I held any power, I’d at least go out of my way to let the special teams coach know that things don’t just need to change, they are going to change. Take a tally: a muffed punt, a fumble on a punt, a blocked field goal, and a missed field goal. Now I’m not an idiot, I understand a great play was made on Dwayne Harris, and his punt coverage team is just scotch-taped together with random bodies and that if Dan Bailey should miss a kick, get them out now, in preseason, but these kinks must be hammered out. And I’d like to see more kneeling the kickoff in the endzone if you’re six yards deep. But everyone can take a breather, the starters who started the game, and as a whole, the preseason made it through to the end of their preseason. Shelf them, put in the young guns to finish out this game against the Texans. Dez Bryant. There aren’t words for what he can be, but in the limited time in games thus far, he looks virtually unstoppable. He was so dominant, shredding coverage’s, breaking tackles, and genuinely looking 88. There is something to be said about all of your drafted defensive players creating turnovers, they’ve been outstanding. JJ Wilcox looks like the third safety, for sure. DeVonte “dibs” Holloman looks like he can be a rotation piece in this defense. And B.W. Webb, I think one of the most impressive. He’s getting picked on in coverage, lets the last play exit swiftly from his thoughts, and just continues to press on. These young players are doing it right, and taking the ball away.
What to look for in this game: Watch football. Because that is, what is going to be played. For the most part, the rosters are set, maybe a few spots for grabs on both teams. Fringe players have one last shot to show they need to be a part of these teams. This probably won’t be a cleanly played game, there will be mistakes, but there are going to be plays made by players chasing, not only employment, but dreams too. It’s an overstatement to say that not everyone is going to make the teams, but the opportunity is ripe for the taking.
What to look for from Texans: Former Houston Cougar Case Keenum has a launcher for an arm, and could possibly have DeVier Posey to throw at. A personal favorite of mine during the draft, David Quessenberry will hopefully get a chance to show his stuff at guard/tackle. If you’re looking for Watt or Foster or Andre Johnson, hopefully the camera operators can fulfill your needs with a pan down the sidelines, because there is no chance that any of them are playing in this game.
What Cowboys to look for: To be honest, I see all of the Cowboys draft picks playing in this game, perhaps not Travis Frederick. Gavin Escobar should have the opportunity to play pretty much the full 60 minutes, the same goes for Terrance Williams and Joseph Randle. And even though they are pretty much safe from cuts, it’s time to show what you can do, going game speed. Jeff Heath has been making a push for consideration. The linebacking corps needs to round itself out, Taylor Reed, Brandon Magee, Caleb McSurdy, and Cameron Lawrence will play for the remaining linebacker jobs. If there is anybody that could use a 100-yard game, its wide receiver Danny Coale, I’m not sure he’s caught a pass this offseason.
Last Game’s Stars: Offense: Tony Romo/Dez Bryant; Defense: Brandon Carr; Special Teams: Chris Jones
Last Game’s MVP: Dez Bryant
Prediction: Dallas 17 Houston 6
Thursday – August 29 – 7 PM