By Jeremy Martin @Jmartin1982 on August 12, 2014
The Dallas Cowboys began the preseason with a 27-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Dallas struggled in many areas, but there were a few bright spots as well. With that in mind, let’s look at the five biggest takeaways from Dallas’ first preseason game.
Brandon Weeden’s career has been extremely unimpressive, but he played well against the Chargers. It’s just one game and I still believe any success Dallas has this year will hinge on the health of Tony Romo, but it was a positive to see Weeden lead a few positive drives for the Cowboys.
Joseph Randle struggled in his rookie year, but that was not the case against San Diego. Randle ran the ball 13 times for 50 yards. While the numbers do not blow you away, the numbers do not tell the whole story. Randle looked much more comfortable and ran hard. He was easily the best RB for Dallas in Week 1.
Ahmad Dixon was one of the few bright spots on the Cowboys’ defense. The seventh-round selection out of Baylor led Dallas with 11 tackles, but It was not just the tackles for Dixon; it was the attitude he plays with. Dixon plays with a toughness the Dallas defense has been lacking for years.
Dallas’ defense was the worst in NFL history in 2013, and they didn’t look much better on Thursday night. Dallas was missing some starters, but that is not an excuse for how poorly they played. The Chargers' offense did whatever they wanted against the Dallas D, and did not have their first incomplete pass until the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys have used three of their last four first-round picks on the offensive line, and it is starting to pay off. Dallas’ offensive line opened up some huge holes for their RBs and did a great job of protecting Brandon Weeden. Dallas will need the O-line to stay healthy and productive if they want to contend in 2014.
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