Aug 7, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84) leaps over San Diego Chargers cornerback Steve Williams (23) during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys vs. Chargers Game Notes and Observations

The Dallas Cowboys kicked off the preseason this evening against the San Diego Chargers. While the Cowboys were unable to do much offensively, or do anything defensively, they did walk away with a couple positives. Ken Bishop, Anthony Hitchens, Ahmad Dixon, and Davon Coleman all looked like real players, while many others struggled. Here are some observations from the game:

  • RB Joseph Randle was able to do some good things in space. He broke tackles, avoided defenders in the open field, and lowered his head when he needed a first down. He’s still a little hesitant to hit the hole and needs to commit more to hitting lanes with force, rather than bounce everything outside.
  • Randle also seemed to run better out of 3 WR sets than out of multiple TE formations.
  • OG/C Mackenzy Bernadeau still lacks strength and gets manhandled in straight forward man blocking situations. OG Ronald Leary looked equally as bad and seemed to be moving in mud when trying to block anywhere but immediately in front of him. The battle for the last guard spot continues…
  • DE/DT Tyrone Crawford seems to be moving at a faster speed than those around him. He’s quick, strong, and athletic. If he can stay healthy he should lead the defensive line in snaps played.
  • CB Terrance Mitchell has been overly physical all camp and the aggressiveness continued tonight as he drew a pass interfierence flag in the end zone. Aggressiveness is good but the penalties have to stop.
  • WR Terrance Williams showed excellent maturity in his route running. He made adjustments, ran crisp routes, and used good technique. Expect him to run a ton of comeback routes in 2014.
  • RT John Wetzel (6’7″ 315 lbs.) from Boston College was surprisingly brilliant in his play. He’s not overly strong but has excellent technique and was able to level a couple guys while run blocking on the move. Keep an eye on this guy.
  • Gavin Escobar and James Hanna look really good this far through training camp. Escobar plays faster than he clocks and Hanna is a threat in the open field. Both need to work on blocking and Hanna was specifically responsible for giving up a sack.
  • RB Ryan Williams is quick. He runs low and can cut on a dime. He doesn’t do much on special teams so it will be tough to keep him, but his offensive play will make it just as tough to cut him.
  • DT Ken Bishop was an absolute beast at the 1 technique tackle spot. He penetrated and held up blockers play after play. The D-line gave up a ridiculous amount of easy running yards but Bishop held his own. He played against backups but showed that he may have something to contribute to the rotation at the 1 Tech.
  • LB Anthony Hitchens plays with excellent technique and lateral speed. He is really made for the WILL spot and may push Bruce Carter for playing time in 2014.
  • S Ahmad Dixon is a rock solid tackler and inside-the-box safety. I would have liked to see him in coverage more but with the Cowboys playing so much single high safety, he may not need to.
  • DT Davon Colemen looks like a great athletic player who factors into the rotation at the 3 technique tackle.
  • QB Brandon Weeden looked pretty good in the vanilla passing game but the falloff was severe when Dustin Vaughan and Caleb Hanie came in. Either way, this team is doomed if Tony Romo misses time this season.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Joseph Randle Ken Bishop Tyrone Crawford

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