The preseason doesn’t count. We know it, and they know it yet our words and actions indicate otherwise. When the Dallas Cowboys played Denver on Saturday, fans were up in arms over the results.
Pass protection was abysmal, coverage was lousy, and discipline was nonexistent. There was outrage.
The Dallas Cowboys should put starters on ice and work out the rust in Week 1 because preseason just isn’t worth it.
The Dallas Cowboys wisely held back most of their expected starters in Denver, and here in their second preseason game, we’re expecting much of the same. But why not take it to the next level and opt out the entire preseason? In fact, how about holding some players out of competitive practices entirely?
The argument against such an overly cautious approach is “rust.” Without full speed practice players won’t be ready to hit the ground running in the regular season against Tampa Bay. To that I say, “so what?”
Do players like Zack Martin or Tyron Smith need practice at all? They need to stay in shape but practice isn’t the only way to achieve such things. Does DeMarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Elliott really need full contact to be ready to play in Week 1? These guys are pros, I don’t think so.
Does Dak Prescott really need reps with his receivers? Yes. Gotcha there. Dak absolutely needs to throw as much as possible to his new WR corps. It’s about timing and repetition. But he doesn’t ever need to face off in the preseason when the bodies start flying. Frankly, he doesn’t need the line play in front of him to be 100% in practice either. The last thing the Cowboys need is Tyler Biadasz falling back and rolling on Dak’s ankle.
Young, unproven players should take all the snaps possible. Tyler Smith, Josh Ball, Matt Waletzko, DaRon Bland, Nahshon Wright, Kelvin Joseph, Will Grier, Sam Williams, Quinton Bohanna, Devin Harper, Malik Davis, T.J. Vasher, and Jalen Tolbert (and many others) can all benefit from preseason snaps.
Considering how important Trevon Diggs and Micah parsons are to the cause, I’d even hold them from all full speed activities. Again, there’s only risk, no reward, in these games.
Does this mean the Dallas Cowboys will kickoff the season at less than peak levels? Sure, but rust is something I’m willing to deal with. Injuries in the training camp and/or preseason games is not something I’m willing to live with.
What do you think Cowboys Nation? Should the Dallas Cowboys use the preseason to knock off the rust and get better? Or should Dallas preserve their veterans, accept a bit of rust, and use the preseason for the young guys?