Last Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against the San Diego Chargers. The Cowboys lost 27-7, but don’t let the score fool you. It is the first preseason game, which was used to judge mainly backups. The Dallas Cowboys gave a glimpse of what to expect for the 2014 season. They have a long way to go, but there were a few bright spots on the team.
Jason Garrett sat many of our starters in this game. However, the offensive line was put in the fray. This was a pretty good move on his part for two reasons. The offensive line has many young players that needs the rep. Zach Martin and Travis Frederick comes in mind for this. However someone like Tyron Smith, who is an important cog to our team, should have been benched. We kept him in though because Garrett wants our offensive line to develop chemistry. Right now the offensive line looks great. Their run blocking was phenomenal and their pass protection was good. If the Cowboys are going to succeed in 2014 it’s going to be because of the offensive line. Our next game is against the Ravens, who have a better defensive line than the Chargers. This is going to be a good test for our young offensive line.
Some backups really shined against the 2nd and 3rd string players. Brandon Weeden went 13/17, 107 yards, and threw 1 touchdown. He looked very accurate and was able to make some tough throws. There is one big problem with Weeden though, he stares down his receiver. Weeden needs to go through his progression. There were times when Weeden would try to force a throw to his primary receiver.
Another backup that shined was Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams. I was more impressed with Randle. He managed to show some quickness and was able to get around defenders in a one-on-one situation. He also showed good vision and cutback ability. There were times when the hole wasn’t there but the offensive line was still getting a good push. Randle managed to find another hole and was able to make plays by cutting back into them. Williams looked more versatile though. He showed more in the passing game as he caught 5 passes. His blocking ability wasn’t bad either. The competition for the third runningback position is close right now. There is no clear advantage, so it should be a fun one to watch.
Now let’s get to defense. It’s not a secret that they were not good. San Diego only threw two incompletions the entire game. They also had 152 yards rushing against our defense. Our defense let the other team do anything they wanted on them. This can’t happen. There were a few bright spots on the defense though. I really liked Ahmad Dixon, who showed a lot of intensity in the game. He hit hard and was always around the ball. He’s more of an in-the-box safety that plays well against the run. Anthony Hitchens also made a mark in the game. He made a great goal line tackle for a loss. He made a few more tackles tonight, and stood out a bit. Lastly, I like Ken Bishop. There’s one play in particular where he chases a Charger behind to save a touchdown. Unfortunately he used a horse collar tackle, and was called for a 15-yard penalty.
Overall the offense is off to a good start. They played well and that should carry on in the regular. The defense needs some work, though some young rookies are really beginning to make a name for them self. This team is looking reminiscent of last year’s team with a good offense and a horrible defense. Right now we can only hope the Cowboys will improve against the Ravens next week.