Categories: Games News

A proper “round trip” trip back to Dallas

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Finally a road win in the preseason.

I couldn’t believe the stat I came across over the summer that it had been 10 years since the Cowboys actually won a true road game in the preseason. However, this didn’t feel like a road game the entire time given the loyal fan base the Cowboys have in the preseason.

But none of this really matters too much in the big picture. While the importance of winning or losing preseason games is always debatable, you always want to look good in the process.

And that’s the best part about Saturday night’s win over the Chargers, the Cowboys looked pretty good, in all three phases. You actually do these four phases because penalties must be included.

Of course, the Cowboys still had eight penalties for 57 yards, about half of last week’s total. But it wasn’t a big deal this week as the offense, defense and special teams made sure to overcome any yellowing setbacks that might have been there.

And yes, I’m well aware that the Chargers didn’t have their starters. Same for the Cowboys, let’s just take this for what it is: a second preseason game where both teams were looking to evaluate young players and avoid major injuries. And then, if it works, you win the game.

Check, check, check the Cowboys in this one. They will leave California State, after being away from home for nearly a month, with a satisfying win that should put the team and coaching staff in good spirits as we head into the second half of camp at The Star .

Ok, let’s start with the things we discovered after this game:

  • KaVontae Turpin made the team tonight. Plain and simple: check it. I said that immediately after the kickoff return, citing players like Zuriel Smith, Reggie Swinton and Lucky Whitehead who have scored back-to-back touchdowns in the preseason and made the team. Now, none of them had TWO of them in the same game. I mean, Turpin probably got a ton of calls on his phone when he turned it on after the game. Maybe some of them were real estate agents looking to get him into a home. What’s funny is that Turpin joined the Cowboys in Oxnard, so he hasn’t settled in yet. But it will soon.
  • This defensive line rotation is getting crowded. Dante Fowler had a nice game working against the Chargers backups. But then again, Fowler appears to be a second-team running back behind D-Law, Armstrong, and of course Parsons. The reason the defense played well all game was the depth of the D-line, both at the end and at the plate. Trysten Hill needed to have a good game and he did. This will be a difficult position to cut, either by cutting players or possibly looking to change the depth.
  • Even before it looked like Will Grier had a late-game injury setback, I feel like Cooper Rush remains in the lead as the No. 2 quarterback. So if Grier can play this week against Seattle on Friday, I think he could start the game and get the most reps, just to see how you manage. But for me, Rush was always on top because of their lone win last season. Grier should be much better and hasn’t been. Then again, maybe both of them could make the team, and if that’s the case, that doesn’t matter.
  • I liked rookie running back Malik Davis from the moment he dropped his shoulder and ran over one of the safeties in camp. I really like how he runs in a violent way. Davis ran the ball downhill, but so did Rico Dowdle, who started the game. Dowdle did nothing to lose his number three spot. It will be interesting to see what happens to the running back in the final preseason game.

· And as for the thing that hasn’t been resolved – kicker. We really don’t know much at this point. Brett Maher might have helped his cause by hitting a 61-yarder, but I don’t think he can be blamed for losing. Lirim Hajrullahu made his short kick while Maher was better in the throws. This is a tight race between the two, and don’t rule out the rest of the kickers in the free agent pool that will likely be discussed as the season approaches.

Overall, the Cowboys go home with a win. They are coming home relatively healthy. And they go home with a little more confidence in their depth.

This is a win-win-win situation if you ask me.


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