Dallas Cowboys: What To Look For Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Ladies and gentlemen, it is Week 4 of the Dallas Cowboys‘ NFL preseason, and Week 3 for 30 other teams. The Cowboy were, in some perspectives, rewarded with an extra preseason game — the Hall of Fame game vs. the Miami Dolphins. That gave Jason Garret and the coaching staff and extra hour of game film to look at the players trying to make the squad.
Obviously, we didn’t see the starters.
With the home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals just a short two days away, there are still quite a few questions to be answered. There are some that are quite intriguing as well.
Let’s start with the QB position. Tony Romo is the starter. That is set in stone. Prior to playing the Oakland Raiders, there really wasn’t much of an argument for the backup position. Kyle Orton was the shoo-in. During that game, Orton played decently, and I have no real complaints there.
The following week, against the Arizona Cardinals, a young man by the name of Alex Tanney made that backup position battle a little more relevant. Tanney completed his first 11 passes and finished off 14-of-19 for 136 yards, one TD and one INT. Twitter exploded with cries from Cowboys fans to remove Orton from his backup role and put Tanney in his place.
Is this a real argument? Maybe. This is something worth watching on Saturday.
I’m interested in seeing how Dallas will run the ball on Saturday as well. The only thing that seems certain at this point is that Demarco Murray will start come Week 1. Phillip Tanner, Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle have all made valid impressions on why the could take the backup role.
This week, the Bengals defense should answer a lot of those questions. There is no doubt that the Bengals have a good run-stuffing defense; Geno Atkins, for example. I’m very curious to see how the boys handle the best defense they’ve faced yet in this preseason.
Who knows? Maybe the Boys decide to carry four RBs after cutting the FB position out of their scheme.
The Cowboys’ secondary will have their hands full this week. Larry Fitzgerald gave them problems last week, and now they have to deal with one of the best in the league this week in A.J. Green.
Green is the only receiver the Boys have played this season that is similar to their own Dez Bryant. Green had a tremendous year last year: 97 receptions, 1,350 yards and 11 TDs. Overall, although it may sound scary, its a good experience for the DB’s. Think about it — they will battle the almighty Megatron this year.
The Boys are also dealing with a powerhouse RB this week with Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis is a strong physical RB with breakaway speed. This will more than likely be a really good test for LBs Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.
I’m also curious to see how Demarcus Ware plays this week — it’s always fun watching him shred offensive lines. Playing with a hand on the ground this year, expect to see a lot more out of him in the pass rush.
On my final note, Romo and Dez have been developing a bit of chemistry since the preseason began. Last year, we didn’t see much of that because frankly, Romo didn’t trust him as much. Now that Dez has had a headline-free offseason and is looking towards a breakout season, you’ll see a lot more Romo-to-Dez connections.
That, in my opinion, is a scary good thought. Dez may have hardly played these first few games, but he already leads the team with seven receptions and 129 yards. That’s an 18-yard average. Since this game is what most consider the biggest preseason game for the starters, expect to see passes thrown towards Dez. This, out of all aforementioned thoughts, is the biggest one to watch come game day.