The Dallas Cowboys played their 2nd Preseason this past Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Cowboys lost 37-30 but let’s take a look at what went right and wrong during the game.
1) Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo made his return to the field Saturday Night. His season was cut short because of a back injury he suffered during last season’s game against the Washington Redskins and he’s missed a few training camp practices along the way this year. Romo was his old self, moving around freely and displayed command of the offense going 4-5 for 80 yds and 1 touchdown.
2) Dez Bryant was anxious to see another teams jersey and he showed up ready to play. Bryant caught all three passes his way for 59 yards including a 31-yd touchdown from Tony Romo. He toyed with the Ravens defensive backs and he’s putting the rest of the league on notice he plans on having another fantastic season.
3) Play Calling: It was nice to see new Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan run the ball early and often. He made sure Demarco Murray touched the ball a number of times when the cowboys 1st teammers were out on the field. Murray finished the evening with 34 yards on 8 carries and he also caught a screen pass for 21 yards. I fully expect Linehan to feature Murray as the Cowboys workhorse this season.
4) Defense: The Dallas Cowboys defense played with energy and emotion against the Ravens. Guys like: Tyrone Crawford and Jeremy Mincey pushed the pocket and got some pressure against Baltimore QB Joe Flacco. JJ Wilcox landed a big hit that knocked Ray Rice out of the game as well. The Cowboys played without: Brandon Carr, Mo Claiborne and Henry Melton.
5) Ryan Williams: Williams was the most impressive running back on the field for the Cowboys Saturday Night. He ran with passion and zest. He finished the night 36 yards rushing on 5 carries along with 2 catches for 13 yards. He lowered the boom on a ravens defender while heading to the end zone on what could have been a touchdown.
6) Jamar Newsome: Newsome played very well against the Ravens and his play might just land him a spot on the 53 man roster. He hauled in 2 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. If Newsome keeps progressing he just might be the Cowboys #6 Wide Receiver.
7) Zach Minter: Minter newly just signed made his presence immediately felt. He registered 4 tackles with 2 sacks and a forced fumble. He also showed some quickness against the Ravens offensive linemen. Sure he was playing against 3rd stringers but his play earned him a second look from a coaching staff that is trying to piece together a defense.
1) Penalties and Mistakes: Just a few plays into the Cowboys Opening Drive, Tony Romo and Demarco Murray botched a hand off and Courtney Upshaw rumbled 26 yards for a TD. The Cowboys also had their fair share of penalties committing 9 for 72 yards.
2) Terrance Mitchell: The Cowboys really like Terrance Mitchell and so does most of Cowboy Nation. Mitchell didn’t really play well against the Ravens on Saturday. He was beaten for 19-yd TD and dropped a would be interception that slipped right threw his fingers.
3) Special Teams: Cowboys Special Teams Coach, Rich Bisaccia can’t be happy with what took place against Baltimore. Ravens kick returner Deonte Thompson took a kickoff back 108 yards for a score. On the night the Cowboys yielded 230 kickoff yards.
4) Injuries: DeVonte Holloman didn’t escape the injury bug and injured his neck. He delt with a neck injury that forced him to miss most of his rookie campaign. Neck injures are always serious so the Cowboys will take their time in evaluating Holloman. Gavin Escobar and Dwayne Harris were also nicked up in the game against the Ravens.
The Cowboys lost the game but they made progress and some young players made strides. The Cowboys play the Miami Dolphins in the “Dress Rehearsal game” on August 23rd. Look for the 1st teammers on both sides of the ball to at least a half of football in that game.