The Dallas Cowboys showed fans some good and some bad in their second preseason game of the season so today we discuss some preliminary takeaways
It’s not just separating fact from fiction in the preseason, but it’s also about noticing the important and ignoring the unimportant. On the Dallas Cowboys is often about focusing on individual execution and general preparedness, rather than the scheming or play-calling.
So it shouldn’t be concerning that the Dallas Cowboys ran a rather vanilla scheme (both on offense and defense) again this week in the preseason. The coaches want to catch early season opponents off guard, and that means shelving the bunch formations and motion they so often used throughout training camp.
The passing game is for real
The Dallas Cowboys finished the 2018 season as a slightly below average passing attack. Some of that is because of the overall offensive philosophy but a lot can be blamed on overall pass-catching talent. If training camp and the preseason has taught us anything, it’s that this is not the 2018 Dallas Cowboys passing attack. This is dramatically improved.
We all know about Amari Cooper and his impact on the passing game so we don’t need to rehash that. But Michael Gallup has developed into what appears to be the best WR2 Dallas has had in years. His impact on deep routes has been noticeable since he joined the Cowboys. But last season his inconsistency in routes, led to inconsistency in timing with Dak Prescott, ultimately resulting in missed opportunities downfield.
Gallup has seemingly corrected those issues and has been a dependable threat down the sideline throughout training camp. On Saturday he and Dak connected deep on their first drive, proving camp was not an aberration. It’s also notable that the wind significantly impacted Dak’s ball, forcing Gallup to adjust. Gallup’s ball skills combined with his timing make him a reliable deep threat moving into the 2019 season.
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Tavon Austin has had a brilliant training camp. He once looked like a replaceable part in this deep receiving corps but now looks like a key part. Not only can he play receiver out of the slot or Z spot, but he’s also proving to still be the best option at punt returns.
Dallas has tried out multiple players as punt returners but have struggled finding a solution. With another fumbled punt Saturday, Tavon is looking more and more like the clear choice when the regular season starts – thus ensuring his roster spot on the team.
The defensive line
Every preseason we overvalue our defensive line depth and their expected impact, but this season they may finally live up to it the hype
- DL Kerry Hyder has been a great presence on the line. He makes excellent reads; plays the run, pass, and screen well; and has the position flex the Dallas Cowboys coaches love. Great value player.
- DE Dorance Armstrong isn’t going to be a double-digit sack player, but he’s an all-around edge man who can rotate and produce.
- DT Maliek Collins is so explosive this season, he’s going to have a career year.
Cam Fleming is proving to be another one of the Dallas Cowboys best values. He’s a proven swing tackle who’s locked into a 2-year deal at a modest salary. He can fill in for Tyron when needed and compete for La’el Collins’ spot next season when Collins departs. He ain’t pretty but he’s absolutely a blessing.
QB Mike White has been so bad, the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t have any trouble stashing him on their practice squad. I just can’t imagine anyone else devoting a roster spot to him.
- Published on 08/18/2019 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 08/18/2019 at 10:30 AM