Dallas Cowboys: Five big winners from the Hall of Fame game

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Rod Smith #45 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Rod Smith #45 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys just had their first preseason contest of 2017. Several players made a big impression on the field with their production.

The Dallas Cowboys got a chance to see some of their youngest players hit the field in competitive action for the very first time. The Hall of Fame game is just an additional preseason game but a lot of what we saw was incredibly telling.

In a 20-18 win, the Cowboys future stars got a ton of snaps and several of them stood out immensely. Let’s take a look at some of the players who had the biggest impact in this contest.

Rod Smith

The Cowboys young running back had an excellent showing in this contest. He firmly established himself as one of the better back up running backs behind superstar Ezekiel Elliott.

Smith often showed quickness and power which definitely makes him an interesting weapon for this team to utilize, especially if he is a full-time fullback. He would end up accumulating 64 rushing yards on 18 carries.

While backup running back Darren McFadden only had three carries, Smith established himself ahead of both Alfred Morris and recent free agent addition Ronnie Hillman. Morris did have a very nice run at the start of the second quarter but seemed to run out of steam fairly quickly.

Expect the Cowboys to take a longer look at Smith as the preseason progresses.

Brice Butler

Butler had a terrific day especially when you factor in that he was playing with backup quarterbacks. Butler may have had only two receptions but he made both of them count. He racked up 78 yards through the air and has seemed to have gotten a lot more consistent in his playmaking ability.

This may have only been a preseason game but Butler did a lot to help push him ahead of some of the younger talent on this roster. His longest reception came from a 46-yard bomb that he somehow managed to haul in.

Kellen Moore/Cooper Rush

What can you say about these guys, they really seized the moment. Moore may have had an untimely pick in the end zone but that was seemingly on the wide receiver for not doing nearly enough to knock down the ill-fated pass.

Rush, on the other hand, had an absolutely clean game, and even though this playbook is still new to him, he seems to have a feel for making plays. Moore took more chances but we could have a bonafide backup quarterback controversy on our hands. Rush went 9/18, with a total of 87 yards, and a touchdown. Moore finished the game with 182 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Rico Gathers

The future of the tight end position has been cloudy for quite some time. The team may have finally found the player who can carry them into the future, and that is Rico Gathers. He accumulated the second most receiving yards with 59 and looked incredibly athletic on the field.

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He has found himself as a player and really looked like a mismatch in the red zone. If he can continue to build on what he has already learned, he will become the next go to tight end for this franchise. Gathers also had two of the biggest plays of the game one of which went for six.