Players and situations to keep an eye on during the Dallas Cowboys third preseason game, this time in Seattle against the Seahawks.
After two preseason games where the starters have had strong showings on both sides of the ball, the important third preseason game for the Dallas Cowboys- known as “the dress rehearsal” game, is only a couple of days away.
Typically, the third preseason game is where the starters get the most playing time of the preseason and gives a solid gauge for what the team will look like to begin the regular season.
Injuries throughout the roster will limit or omit a handful of key players which is quite normal, but facing a team like the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday evening will provide fans with a great opportunity to see if this highly touted offense will measure up to expectations; as well as giving fans a chance to see if the starting defense can continue to force turnovers as they have in the first two preseason games.
Unfortunately, the Dez Bryant show will not be available for our viewing pleasure due to a concussion that occurred during practice on Monday morning at The Star.
Here is a list of players and situations to watch for while you enjoy the game.
1. The first live game action for Ezekiel Elliott. This is very significant for the team and for fans, as “Zeke” has been hindered by a sore hamstring for the past three weeks and has yet to step on a game field yet for the Dallas Cowboys. Expectations are high and if he can meet or exceed them against a run-stuffing defense like the Seahawks, it will rival the excitement and buzz that is surrounding backup quarterback Dak Prescott.
2. Brice Butler’s chance to shine in starting lineup. With Dez out on Thursday, Brice Butler will likely be the man taking his place with the starters in the first half. If Butler can make plays against the dominant Seattle secondary known as “the Legion of Boom”, it will go a long way in boosting the confidence of the coaching staff to give him extended playing time in the regular season.
3. Dallas defense vs Russell Wilson. Wilson is by far the best quarterback that the starting defense is going to see this preseason and he is also the most mobile passer they will face which can cause a lot of problems with containment and coverage.
4. Lockett vs Whitehead- a battle of dangerous returners. Both Tyler Lockett and Lucky Whitehead have the explosive ability to change a game with a single big return. If either one can flip field position or even take a return to the house, it could go a long way in determining the game’s outcome.
5. Will Dak get any first team reps? Normally, your starting quarterback gets all of the first team reps in the third preseason game. That being said- rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has been auditioning for the number two quarterback spot behind Tony Romo and thus far has soared above the expectations of all spectators.
Giving Prescott an opportunity to play with the starting offensive line, receivers, and Ezekiel Elliott against the Seahawks’ starting defense could give the Cowboys front office and coaching staff the assurance that he is ready to step in if Romo goes down. If he fails to move the ball with the starters, it will also tell the front office and staff that making a move for a veteran quarterback should still be on the table.