Our Depth is Better Than Your Depth: Cowboys 16 - Bengals 7

Here are a few observations from the first of five pre-season games.

1. Doug Free was impressive in both pass and run blocking. Barron missed the pass block where John Kitna fumbled.  Kudos to Travis Bright (C) who recovered the football.
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2. Reports indicate that Romo worked on his back shoulder throws and it showed early in the game.
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3. Woes in redzone are still a concern, though in the pre-season you don’t want to tip your hand.  Early in the pre-season, I believe we want to see Buehler make all the kicks, short or long and he hit the short ones.
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4.  Normally special teams are dreadful early in the regular season, to include the pre-season.  Save for the missed kick by Buehler under HEAVY pressure from up the middle, the game was pretty clean for the Cowboys.
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5.  Penalties against the Cowboys were substantially lower.  Maybe the team has matured, or maybe the fringe players were too scared to make a penalty so they focused extra hard.
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6.  Jesse Holley was not built to play special teams.  His holding penalty was as egregious as you can have.  He did make a tackle late on punt coverage.  The reality TV star’s days are numbered on the team.  On the other hand, Manuel Johnson made an exceptional play batting the punt back into the field of play to handcuff the Bengals.
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7.  John Phillips makes Bennett expendable.  Phillips makes the plays that we expect Martellus Bennett to make.  He was impressive against the Bengals.  That used to raise the question, “Who isn’t impressive against the Bengals?”
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8.  Kitna looks rusty, but tony took every snap last year, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
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9.  McBriar is our best under-appreciated player.
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10.  There seems to be a pervasive assumption that Roy Williams was traded for more than he was.  The trade was a 1st, 3rd, and a 6th for Roy and a 7th round pick. Per Chris Collinsworth he said, “… cause he was traded for all the number one picks and got all the money…”.  This isn’t the first time I have heard multiple one’s in relation to Williams.  It may just be a misstatment, but the legend of the trade is growing exponentially.  Soon the perception will be the reverse of the Herchel Walker trade.
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11.  I’m not going to disparage most young players looking to make the team, but Herb Donaldson has to do a better job of holding onto the ball.
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12.  Should anyone be offened by the DirecTv commercial with the dog, the old man and the hot blonde.  Any old guy who can have a trophy wife must have done something right.  The dog, Troy Barkman, is well trained, and the only thing I have against the blonde is that she is wearing too many clothes for a football commercial.
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13.  Steve Octavien had a great jump off the snap of the ball. He blew up one play and shed a block well.  Nice game Octavien, nice game.
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14.  Stephen Bowen had two nice plays looping to the outside to attack the QB.
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15.  McGee stood in the pocket and took the hit.  He’s still raw, but he looks to be capable of playing a conservative game plan with limited passing options.  Think about the offense Jason Campbell ran early in his career.  If both Romo and Kitna go down with an injury, McGee can be more effective than Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger.  McGee had a very nice accurate ball thrown while on the run. In the middle of the 3rd quarter, McGee’s pass was batted up in the air and he had the presence of mind to bat the ball down for an incompletion.  Kudos to McGee for having good instincts.
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16.  Buehler was 2/3, but the 2nd one snuck inside the left upright. The third kick which was missed from 49 yards was kicked under heavy pressure.  Viewing the kick on super slow motion, it came very close to being blocked and tipped to the left, but it wasn’t hit.  If the ball was kicked perfectly where it would split the uprights, it would have been blocked.  That’s some consolation.
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17.  On the punt return Teddy Williams may have given a slight push to Brandon Ghee in his back, but Ghee barely felt it and he was determined to hit McCann.  That was disgusting.
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18.  Injury update: John Phillips injured with an ankle, Kevin Brock injured with a knee.
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19.  Brandon Sharpe’s interception was a more athletic play than Brandon Williams.

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Tags: Alex Barron Chris Collinsworth Cincinati Bengals Dallas Cowboys David Buehler Doug Free Herb Donaldson Jesse Holley John Phillips Stephen McGee Steve Octavien Teddy Williams Tony Romo Travis Bright

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