The Dallas Cowboys took a quick train ride from Oxnard, California after their final day at training camp on Friday and traveled to sunny San Diego to prepare for their second preseason game, This time against former Cowboy’s coach Norv Turner’s Chargers. After last week’s 3-0 win over the Oakland Raiders, Dallas was hoping to get more offensive punch in this game even without a number of their starters suiting up. And as with any game, there were those who rose up the depth chart and those who might have just sank right off it. Here are my five players who shined in the Cowboy’s second preseason game:
Shined – Brandon Carr, cornerback – Some fans questioned whether the Cowboys chose the right corner to go after in free agency. I think all doubts were laid to rest on Saturday as Carr intercepted two Phillip River passes. Carr could be the biggest $50 million steal in NFL history.
Shined – Cole Beasley, wide receiver – After quitting the team and leaving for two days during training camp, many soured on the undrafted SMU wideout. But the 5’8 mustang turned a corner emotionally and had an MVP type performance Saturday with seven catches for 104 yards. At one point, he was unguardable in the slot. Beasley played so well, one of the NFL Network announcers called him “unbeas-lievable”. Cole promptly “upchucked” his lunch on the field afterwards.
Shined – Dez Bryant, wide receiver – Despite only having two receptions for 15 yards, it was a play that Dez Bryant made that was then called back for a holding penalty that was the most amazing of the game. Bryant made a spectacular one handed catch in the back of the endzone that was so beautiful, you could literally hear the collective gasps of awe from the entire Cowboy Nation. It is a play one a handful of special players can ever make and another reason the team is willing to put up with Dez’s short comings off the field.
Shined – Jamize Olawale, running back – The former North Texas fullback is built like a brick house and has surprising quickness. Olawale powered the ball for 30 rushing yards on 10 carries and eventually into the endzone, which is no small feat with this offensive line. But even more than that, it was the little things he did that made him appear to be a better option then Felix Jones at this point. I don’t think that will happen, but I do think Olawale made his case for a roster spot in this game. His four receptions for 30 yards didn’t hurt either.
Shined – Mario Butler, cornerback – I’d heard good thing about Butler in training camp, but to see it in a game was a nice revelation. The guy made some good plays on the ball and seemed quicker than I remembered him being. Butler also seemed unafraid to mix it up physically making five tackles on Saturday. He appears to be a perfect complement to what we have on the defensive secondary now and a player whose potential may pay dividends very soon.
Honorable Mention – Victor Butler, outside linebacker – Anytime you replace a defensive monster like DeMarcus Ware and then make a sack on the first defensive play of the game, you have to be at least mentioned.
Late Edition – Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver - I realized after initially posting this article, that I left out Ogletree. After being so critical of him in recent weeks, I thought it amiss not to mention his stellar game. Kevin has obviously bulked up this off season and it showed Saturday. His four receptions for 60 yards, which included a strong 35 yard grab in traffic, really showed off his newly acquired toughness. If he continues to prove his worth on the field, I think he could deserve to win that open third receiver position.