August 13, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) makes a catch in front of Oakland Raiders defensive back Ron Bartell (21) in the first quarter at O.Co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Dallas Cowboys Preseason Opener; 5 Things We Learned

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Monday night was atrocious to some, and encouraging for others. Although our defense did not give up a single point, our offense only managed to put up three. If this were a regular season game, I wouldn’t be as critical since a “W” is a “W” no matter how it is obtained. Here are five things we learned:

1) Dez Bryant is acrobatic and physical beast. The leaping back shoulder grab he made was almost perfect, and that throw is almost indefensible, especially with defenses worrying about his down field big play ability. If he can stay healthy and no suspensions are levied by Commissioner Goodell, this could be a breakout and Pro Bowl year for the 3rd year Veteran.

2) Who starts between Dan Conner and Bruce Carter? Who cares! They both were on the field with the first team defense. Bruce Carter took snaps at the vacant OLB spot because of an injured Anthony Spencer. He showed some good quickness, but a little bit of assignment “brain fart” (if you will). This is to be expected because it is not his normal position and this is the first preseason game; no harm, no foul.

3) Our safeties are better this year than they have been the previous three years. I am so glad that Ken Hamlin, Alan Ball, and Abe Elam are no longer back there. Maybe it was beginners luck, but Barry Church likes to hit. He has quick instincts and breaks on the ball. What is even better, is that he is a “wrap up” tackler. He can bruise with his hits, but he follows through the tackle to ensure the ball carrier is on the ground. With the upgrades made at corner with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, I can see a good year (secondary wise) from our Dallas Cowboys. This all rests on the health of Morris Claiborne AND Mike Jenkins. We need both of them back and pronto.

4) Marcus Spears doesn’t want to lose his job. He pulled a page out of Denzel Washington’s book and played like a Man on Fire Monday night. He was using that huge frame and 1st round draft pick pedigree, throwing his weight around, and making plays. Why haven’t we seen this the entire time he’s been here?? He is one of the main reasons I celebrated when the Cowboys didn’t draft Michael Brockers (another 1st round bust DL out of LSU). Has he done enough to save himself a roster spot. or will the Cowboys give it to the youngsters (Sean Lissemore & Clifton Gathers)?

5) Dan Bailey is still the man. This kid has had ice water running through his veins since he joined the Cowboys camp last year. My only question is… How is Bailey only kicking four or five FG’s per practice session? I am following undrafted rookie kicker, Justin Tucker, (formerly kicker for the Texas Longhorns) and son of a co-worker of my wife. I see reports that he has kicked over 60 FG’s at the Ravens practice. I want to see that from Bailey, and whoever else we have on the roster. That is all.

6) I don’t even want to talk about the offensive line today. Plus, I told you in the beginning that it would only be five things… stay tuned next week. It won’t be as bad; I hope.

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Tags: Abe Elam Alan Ball Anthony Spencer Barry Church Brandon Carr Bruce Carter Clifton Gathers Dan Bailey Dan Conner Dez Bryant Gerald Sensabaugh Justin Tucker Ken Hamlin Marcus Spears Michael Brockers Mike Jenkins Morris Claiborne Sean Lissemore

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