Dallas Cowboys P1 Game Standouts, Notes, and Observations


On Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys temporarily broke camp in Oxnard, and boarded a train to take on the San Diego Chargers in their first preseason game of the 2015 season.

Preseason football is a misunderstood animal. Labeled by many as “pointless”, preseason football is far from pointless for players trying to earn a place at the Dallas Cowboys’ table. After watching and reviewing film, some players stood out for the good, while others for the bad.

Here are the game standouts, notes, and observations for the Dallas Cowboys’ first preseason game of the 2015 season:

RB Gus Johnson’s hustle is impressive, and I really think he can make this team. But in ZBS that asks for patience, Johnson isn’t a great fit. He would still be a valuable addition, should he make the team, but he is definitely more of a straight ahead bulldozer-type, more commonly used in MBS and goal line situations.

  • RDE Greg Hardy looked good covering a TE during a zone blitz. I can’t imagine the Cowboys wanting to blitz anyone at the expense of a Hardy pass-rush, but it was certainly interesting to see.
  • WR Devin Street’s route running really was strong. He was criticized by the TV crew for not running a clean in route, but if he had kept the route crisp (as Babe advised) he wouldn’t have made the catch. It appears that on this play Street adjusted his route to catch the high pass.
  • DE/DT Jack Crawford was great lined up on the inside. Explosive. In my last 53-man roster projection Jack missed the cut rating as #54. I think that may need to change.
  • Randy Gregory looked strong, aggressive, and athletic. He was a liability against the run a couple times but the pass-rush ability overshadowed it. It will be great to see Gregory go up against 1st teamers later in the preseason.

    Starting the game at the offensive tackle spots were LT

    Darrion Weems

    and RT

    John Wetzel

    . Both players have polar opposite reputations- Weems is more athletic than strong and Wetzel is more strong than athletic.

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    • Darrion Weems made plenty of mistakes, but at least he flashed ability. The same can’t be said for the RT. John Wetzel stood out immediately, looking slow and confused. He missed blocking assignments, couldn’t follow stunts, and was fodder for speed rushers. He was already a long-shot to make the team but this just made it all the longer
    • QB Brandon Weeden continued his trend of ignoring the left side of the field as he focused only on targets to his starboard side. In Weeden’s lone drive, two times receivers ran open on the left, and Weeden never even glanced at them. He was accurate but predictable.
    • QB Dustin Vaughn looked better tonight than he did all of training camp. That’s great to see considering the Cowboys’ options.
    • I’ve made the comparison before, but S J.J. Wilcox has the ability to become the Cowboys’ version of Cam Chancellor (Seattle). As an in-the-box safety, Wilcox is explosive and punishing. His closing speed and force of impact are staggering. Unfortunately, unless Corey White or Byron Jones proves they can play FS, Wilcox is the centerfielder in the Cowboys’ single high safety coverage.
    • CB/FS Corey White had a ridiculously good game. He kept his eyes on the passer all game. His tight coverage resulted in multiple highlights but even when he wasn’t involved in the play he was playing well.
    • Ryan Russell and Ben Gardner had both good and bad plays keeping their “fringe”status intact.

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