After losing a few starters to injuries and a suspension, and being 0-2 in the preseason, the Dallas Cowboys have three things to feel good about.
Three things that they can use as momentum going into the regular season.
The first thing the Cowboys can be excited about is the play of this defensive tackle. Minter recorded two sacks and had a tackle for a loss against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night. His production allowed him to take first team reps at the 3-technique spot (under tackle) in Tuesday’s practice.
Who cares that he played against second and third teamers. That didn’t bother head coach Jason Garrett, either.
“That was the opportunity that was in front of him,” Garrett said. “Here’s the opportunity. Here are your plays in practice. Here are your plays in the game. Show us what you can do. We are going to watch the tape and evaluate. We’re going to see who we like best based on what you do out there. It doesn’t really matter where you come from, and I think he’s a good example of that.”
And Garrett is right about the opportunity.
Minter arrived last week, had only one practice with the team and performed at a high level. He performed at such a high level he is taking taken snaps away from free agent Davon Coleman.
Davon Coleman started the first two preseason games in veteran Henry Melton’s place. Minter will start against the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.
Hopefully, for the Cowboys sake, Minter is this year’s George Selvie, who came out of nowhere last season and performed well as a starting defensive end.
The Offensive Line
This offensive line has the potential to one of the best, if not the best in the entire NFL. With All Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith leading the pack, the Cowboys have shown in preseason that when they run the ball, they cannot be stopped, opening large running lanes for DeMarco Murray.
Running the ball will is something the Cowboys are committed doing this season, said owner Jerry Jones.
Of course, this massive offensive line proved that they can protect Romo with ease.
And that is what really matters.
McClain is now taking first team snaps in practice at the Mike position (middle linebacker). His performance in practice and against the Ravens have the Cowboys confident he can play this position, so confident they moved Durant to the weak side.
McClain playing at an impressive level is critical to the Cowboys defense because of the season ending injury to Sean Lee.
Garrett said that he wanted to create a competitive environment for McClain to see what he can do.
“He’s done that over the last week or so and hopefully he can continue that trend.”
So far, the Cowboys have three trends developing.
And these trends look very promising.