Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys looked impressive in their preseason 41-14 romp of the Miami Dolphins. Now, about those penalties…
It is always a good feeling to have live football in front of you, especially in Dallas, TX. There is something in the atmosphere; a rise in the air that makes the football fan excited. Even though it is only preseason game number 2, the Dallas Cowboys had something to prove Friday night. The Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 41-14, but there is more to it than just the box score.
I believe that the foundation of the offense is the offensive line, and they imposed their will on the Miami front seven. They did not allow a sack on the quarterback for a second straight week. They dominated the line and opened holes, allowing running game to shine. It was obvious that some of the problems in the first preseason game had received attention. The first and second team offense performed well at AT&T Stadium.
Starting quarterback Tony Romo looked healthy again and performed well in the two series that he played. He went 4 for 5 with 49 yards passing. his night ended with a fantastic 15-yard touchdown run by running back back Alfred Morris, who ended the night with 13 rushes for 85 yards. Romo did show signs of holding on to the ball too long on a couple plays, but we accept this is a work in progress.
The real story of the night was rookie quarterback Dak Prescott getting first team snaps. Again, Dak was as close to perfect as one can expect. Eleven different Cowboys’ receivers caught passes from Prescott. He led the team down the field for six scoring drives and made excellent decisions most of the time. Dak did make a mistake throwing an interception directly into the hands of the Miami secondary, but because of a penalty, it was waived off.
What I love about Dak Prescott is that the game does not look to be too big for him.
The bulk of his passes were crisp and strong. Prescott showed poise in the pocket and on his roll-outs. He made passes to all parts of the field, including tight over-the-back-shoulder passes in the end zone to wide receivers Dez Bryant and Brice Butler. He ended the night 12 for 15 with two passing touchdowns and a perfect QB Rating of 158.3. He also ran for two Cowboys touchdowns, including a play action run for 20-yards untouched into the end zone.
At no point in the game did he look pressured or nervous. I credit the Cowboys’ offensive line for some of that confidence, but there are some intangibles, like timing, that cannot be taught. It is too early to tell if Dak is the future of the Cowboys, but he sure does give us a glimmer of hope for whats next.
The Dallas Defense looked to have improved as well. They accounted for three sacks and a fumble recovery on an offense that looked mostly inept through the game. It is plain to see that Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli had ripped into the defense since last weeks’ performance. Fortunately, they responded.
Although they did not fill the box score with takeaways, they were far more solid than in games past. Dallas may not have the best defense in football, but I guarantee Marinelli will get every drop out of them he can squeeze.
The Dallas Cowboys simply cannot afford to be the most penalized team in the NFL- again- and expect to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.
I am still very concerned with penalties. The Cowboys ended the night with twelve penalties for a whopping 113 yards. The first drive was plagued with penalties with the offense being flagged five time in the first six plays. Dallas simply cannot afford to be the most penalized team in the NFL- again- and expect to compete for the Lombardi Trophy. Holding calls, chop blocks, offsides calls; It is these mental mistakes that kill drives and get people hurt. Even though they have played well so far, we simply have to eliminate any chance for injury.
Preseason Week Three takes Dallas north to play the Seattle Seahawks. This “dress rehearsal” game is key for every team, especially the Cowboys. Seattle has the loudest stadium in the league and some of the most passionate fans; and they will be out in force next week. Both the defense and offense will be tested and they most be ready. I cannot say “no mistakes,” but everyone needs to have their “A Game” in Seattle. This will tell us more of what to expect for the 2016 Season.