Cowboys studs and duds from preseason Week 1 vs. Broncos

Ben DiNucci, Cowboys. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
Ben DiNucci, Cowboys. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /
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Cowboys, Jake Ferguson
Cowboys, Jake Ferguson. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Stud: Jake Ferguson, Tight End

Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson was one of the few bright spots for the Cowboys’ offense in the first half. The unit was bullied by the Broncos as Rush struggled to move the ball with any consistency, except for when he was throwing to Ferguson.

The Wisconsin product caught all three targets from the starting quarterback for 29 yards. It might not have been electric, but he accounted for more yards than any other pass-catcher for Dallas in the first half. At this point, he has the upper hand on the No. 2 spot behind Dalton Schultz.

Dud: Jeremy Sprinkle, Tight End

While Ferguson was playing well, Jeremy Sprinkle might have hurt his chances of making the team. Early in the game, Sprinkle was called for a holding penalty on a third-and-two which negated a first-down run by Dowdle. Dallas did convert on the third-and-12 as Rush hit rookie Dennis Houston for 18 yards but Sprinkle made it harder on them than it needed to be.

Sprinkle did wind up making a couple of catches but then had a dropped pass in the fourth quarter which ended the positive momentum he had built. He’s likely behind Ferguson but could find himself trailing Sean McKeon and even Payton Hendershot, who had 13 yards on two receptions but also hauled in a 25-yard pass that was called back due to one of their many penalties.