Earlier today I wrote that other than watching specific position battles, just try to watch and enjoy the game as it develops and the evaluations will take care of themselves. Little did I know that enjoying the game was going to be so…painful. There was very little to be impressed about with the way the Dallas Cowboys played. In fact, all of the positions we were probably paying attention to the most gave us no answers.
The worrying should continue about the Cowboys offensive line because the results were not good. All four quarterbacks were pressured with regularity and would not allow the Cowboys offense to get into a rhythm. Now because of all the injuries along the offensive line most of these linemen have only been working together for a short time but each unit, from first through third string guys all struggled. To name a few who were less than stellar, Doug Free and David Arkin come to mind. The Raiders defense seemed to be much more physical than the Cowboys upfront, that is worrisome.
Then there were the receivers, where the news was only slightly better. The offensive lines troubles didn’t exactly give the quarterbacks time to find open receivers but even when they had time there was a lot of miscommunication. The receivers who we have been hearing the most about, Cole Beasley and Tim Benford did very little on the night. The same can be said of Dwayne Harris and Raymond Radway.
However, Andre Holmes was one of the real positives on the night for the Cowboys. He’s been building up some momentum the last few days on the practice field and it carried over to the game tonight. He made a few nice catches for first downs and was able to stand out among all the Cowboys receivers on the night.
Defensively the Cowboys were good, although I wouldn’t say they did anything outstanding on the night. Getting a shutout is always nice for your confidence, no matter who you play. I was hoping to see more out of Tyrone Crawford but the good news was he did see extensive playing time. The experience will only help him get better.
The players I was most impressed with were Ben Bass, who was very active, and fellow rookie Adrian Hamilton showed real promise. The emergence of Bass, Crawford and Clifton Geathers (who I also didn’t see much from despite the Cowboys raving about him), may make both Marcus Spears and Kenyon Coleman expendable.
That was pretty much it for the individual players who made a positive impression. However, the best thing I took out of the game was the Cowboys defenders ability to make good, solid form tackles. Barry Church made a solid tackle, as did Alex Albright and Adrian Hamilton. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan said the Cowboys defense was going back to basics in the off-season and it showed. Very impressed with the defenses tackling ability.
On the other end of the spectrum, and I mean the complete opposite end, the Dallas Cowboys continued the trend of the past few years and had way too many penalties. And no, the replacement officials had nothing to do with it. They need to find a way to be a more disciplined football team on the field, period. Bad penalties have plagued this team for years and it needs to stop.
Yes, the Dallas Cowboys got a win, which is always good but there is more work that needs to be done. A lot more and I’m guessing you were as disappointed as I was watching the game.
The good news is it was only the first game of the year, a preseason game at that. They have three more games to work with before the real bullets start flying in New York.
At least they came out the game healthy, which is probably the best thing we can say on the night.