Dallas Cowboys take two steps forward, one step back
By Richard Ball
Following the Dallas Cowboys first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, here’s how America’s Team took two steps forward and one back.
The Dallas Cowboys traveled to Santa Clara, California to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night. And there were three things that caught my attention early in the preseason matchup.
Two are very positive while one is quite concerning for the Cowboys.
#1 – Blake Jarwin, TE
Tight end Blake Jarwin seems to have started the 2019 season from where the 2018 regular season ended. If you recall, he scored three touchdowns against the New York Giants in the regular-season finale.
Jarwin was targeted six times in the first half and made four catches for 51 yards. Maybe most impressive was his 19 yard run after the catch on a quarterback Cooper Rush’s first-and-10 pass from the Dallas 43-yard line.
Over the past few years, the Cowboys have lacked a tight end that can stretch the seam. Here’s hoping that Jarwin will grow into this role.
#2 – Cooper Rush, QB
Cooper Rush’s stats from the first half were not eye-popping but he passed the eye test to me. On his first series, he put the ball in the perfect spot on his first two throws to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson. He was then able to drive the team to the 49ers 22-yard line where they settled for a second field goal.
On the next offensive drive, the Cowboys had a three-and-out but don’t blame Rush. On first down, he put the team ahead of the chains with a six-yard completion to wide receiver Jon’Vea Johnson. Following a 1-yard run from running back Jordan Chunn, Rush put the ball in a perfect spot for Johnson to make a first down only to see the undrafted free agent drop the easy first down.
On his third series, Rush drove the Cowboys down into the red zone with a nine-play, four-minute drive. For the third time out of four series, the Cowboys failed to punch in a drive for a touchdown and settled for a field goal.
#3 – Brett Maher, K
Unfortunately, the third time was not the charm. Kicker Brett Maher pushed the kick to the right on a 35-yard try continuing his troubling trend of missing shorter field goals during training camp practices.
Not only should the Dallas Cowboys be concerned about their field goal kicker, they need to find a way to punctuate drives with touchdowns. For a season with Super Bowl aspirations, both of these issues are troubling. Let’s hope that the Cowboys find a way to fix these issues before the games start to count in September.